Author + information
- Received October 23, 1995
- Revision received May 2, 1996
- Accepted May 13, 1996
- Published online October 1, 1996.
- COLOMBA FALCONE*,
- CARLA AUGUADRO,
- RENATO SCONOCCHIA,
- ORONZO CATALANO,
- MICHAEL OCHAN,
- LUIGI ANGOLI and
- CARLO MONTEMARTINI
- ↵*Address for correspondence: Dr. Colomba Falcone, Department of Cardiology, IRCCS Pol. San Matteo, Piazzale Golgi 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy.
Objectives. This study in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) sought to 1) determine the dental pain threshold and reaction to tooth pulp stimulation; 2) correlate the clinical, ergometric and angiographic features of patients with and without pain during percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) to pulpal test response; 3) verify whether reactivity to dental pulp stimulation could help to identify patients particularly prone to perceiving angina during myocardial ischemia.
Background. Silent myocardial ischemia is frequently observed in patients with CAD. Higher pain thresholds have been documented in asymptomatic subjects, suggesting a generalized hyposensitivity to pain.
Methods. Eighty-six consecutive male patients with reproducible exercise-induced myocardial ischemia and CAD documented by angiography underwent PTCA. A pulpal test was performed in all patients by means of an electrical tooth pulp stimulator.
Results. Seventy-one patients (82.6%) with and 15 (17.4%) without angina during daily life were studied. During the pulpal test, 57 patients (66.2%) reported dental pain, whereas 29 (33.7%) were asymptomatic, even at maximal stimulation of 500 mA. The study cohort was classified into two groups according to the presence (58 patients [group 1]) or absence (28 patients [group 2]) of angina during myocardial ischemia induced by PTCA. Ergometric variables, extent of CAD, presence of ST segment elevation during PTCA, number of inflations, inflation time and maximal inflation pressure were similar in the two patient groups. Dental pain was provoked by pulpal test in 81% of patients with and 36% of patients without symptoms during PTCA (p = 0.0004). The absence of dental pain even at maximal tooth pulp stimulation (500 mA) was observed in 11 (18.9%) patients in group 1 and 18 (64.2%) in group 2. Patients who were asymptomatic during PTCA had a higher mean dental pain threshold, lower mean threshold reaction and lower mean maximal reaction than those who were symptomatic during both PTCA and the pulpal test.
Conclusions. A correlation between the prevalence of symptoms during pulpal test, daily life, exercise-induced myocardial ischemia and PTCA was found. A higher dental pain threshold and lower reactivity characterized those subjects who were prone to silent ischemia both during daily life and during PTCA. Ergometric variables, extent of CAD and techniques used during PTCA were unrelated to the tendency to perceive pain during myocardial ischemia. Response to the pulpal test and the presence of symptoms during daily life were highly related to the presence of angina during PTCA.
- Received October 23, 1995.
- Revision received May 2, 1996.
- Accepted May 13, 1996.
- THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CARDIOLOGY