Author + information
- Received February 26, 1996
- Revision received December 4, 1996
- Accepted December 11, 1996
- Published online March 15, 1997.
- Craig R Narins, MDA,
- Wojciech Zareba, MD, FACCA,
- Arthur J Moss, MD, FACCA,*,
- Robert E Goldstein, MD, FACCB and
- W.Jackson Hall, PhDA
- ↵*Dr. Arthur J. Moss, Heart Research Follow-up Program, Box 653, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York 14642.
Objectives. This study was undertaken to better understand the functional and prognostic significance of silent relative to symptomatic ischemia.
Background. Previous studies have reached conflicting conclusions as to whether painless ischemia identified during noninvasive cardiac testing is related to a lesser extent of myocardial ischemia or a different prognosis than ischemia accompanied by angina, or both.
Methods. Nine hundred thirty-six clinically stable patients 1 to 6 months after an acute coronary event, either myocardial infarction or unstable angina, underwent ambulatory monitoring, exercise treadmill testing and stress thallium-201 scintigraphy. They were then followed up prospectively for a mean of 23 months for recurrent cardiac events (cardiac death, nonfatal myocardial infarction or unstable angina).
Results. Compared with patients with symptomatic ischemia during testing (n = 125), those with silent ischemia (n = 378) demonstrated less severe and extensive reversible defects on stress thallium scintigraphy (p = 0.0008), less functional impairment during treadmill testing manifested by longer exercise duration (640 ± 173 vs. 529 ± 190 s, p = 0.002) and longer time to ST segment depression (530 ± 215 vs. 419 ± 205 s, p = 0.0001) and less frequent ST segment depression during ambulatory monitoring (9% vs. 19%, p = 0.005). Patients with symptomatic ischemia had a significantly (p = 0.004) increased number of subsequent recurrent cardiac events (28.8%) versus those with silent (18.0%) or no (17.3%) ischemia. Adverse outcomes were especially concentrated in the subgroup with symptomatic ischemia and poor exercise tolerance. The difference in cardiac event rates between patients with silent versus symptomatic ischemia persisted after adjustment for baseline clinical characteristics by Cox regression analysis.
Conclusions. Patients with painless ischemia during exercise testing 1 to 6 months after recovery from a coronary event have less jeopardized ischemic myocardium and fewer recurrent cardiac events than patients with symptomatic ischemia.
(J Am Coll Cardiol 1997;29:756–63)
☆ This study was supported by Research Grant HL-38702 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
- Received February 26, 1996.
- Revision received December 4, 1996.
- Accepted December 11, 1996.
- The American College of Cardiology