Author + information
- Peter F. Cohn, MD, FACC*
- ↵*Address for reprints: Peter F. Cohn, MD, Cardiology Division, Room T-17-020, SUNY Health Sciences Center, Stony Brook, New York 11794.
Despite the large number of studies dealing with the natural history of angiographically denned coronary artery disease, there is still a paucity of data on the prognosis of totally asymptomatic persons. From the small number of reported studies, it appears that prognosis in selected asymptomatic patients may be better than that of symptomatic patients. However, the annual mortality rate in the subgroup of asymptomatic patients with triple vessel disease was as high as 4 to 5% in some studies that included patients with prior myocardial infarction or mild symptoms, or both. This has reinforced the views of those who advocate a more aggressive medical/surgical approach to asymptomatic patients with left main and triple vessel disease, especially if they have had a prior infarction. Although several small series of surgically treated patients have been reported to have excellent short-term survival rates, the absence of adequate control groups in nearly all of these studies has left the issue of prophylactic revascularization unresolved. Until there is more knowledge of prognosis in patients not operated on, it is likely to remain unresolved.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation