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Importance of clinical measures of ischemia in the prognosis of patients with documented coronary artery disease

Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0735-1097(88)90160-x
  • Medicine


Abstract To examine the value of clinical measures of ischemia for stratifying prognosis, 5,886 consecutive patients who had symptomatic significant (≥75% stenosis) coronary artery disease were studied. Using the Cox regression model in a randomly selected half of the patients, the prognostically independent clinical variables were weighted and arranged into a simple angina score: angina score = angina course × (1 + daily angina frequency) + ST-T changes, where angina course was equal to 3 if unstable or variant angina was present, 2 if the patient's angina was progressive with nocturnal episodes, 1 if it was progressive without nocturnal symptoms and 0 if it was stable; 6 points were added for the presence of “ischemic” ST-T changes. This angina score was then validated in an independent patient sample. The score was a more powerful predictor of prognosis than was any individual anginal descriptor. Furthermore, the angina score added significant independent prognostic information to the patient's age, sex, coronary anatomy and left ventricular function. Patients with three vessel disease and a normal ventricle (n = 1,233) had a 2 year infarction-free survival rate of 90% with an angina score of 0 and a 68% survival rate with an angina score ≥9. With an ejection fraction <50% and three vessel disease (n = 1,116), the corresponding infarction-free survival figures were 76 and 56%. Thus, a careful summarization of clinical markers of ischemia in the form of an angina score can provide a powerful prognostic tool and may aid clinicians in identifying high risk patients who are candidates for aggressive therapeutic interventions.

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