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Characteristics of silent myocardial ischemia during out-of-hospital activities in asymptomatic angiographically documented coronary artery disease

The American Journal of Cardiology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0002-9149(87)91085-x
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Medicine


Abstract Ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring is useful in documenting characteristics of both painful and silent myocardial ischemia occurring during out-of-hospital activities in patients with angina and coronary artery disease (CAD), but few data are available concerning silent myocardial ischemia during ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring in asymptomatic patients with CAD. Accordingly, 480 hours of ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring were recorded in 10 asymptomatic patients with CAD not receiving cardiac drugs (48 hours/patient). All 10 patients had silent myocardial ischemia on treadmill exercise testing, with initial ST-segment depression at 2 to 6 minutes in 7 patients and more than 6 minutes In 3 patients. During ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring, 64 episodes of silent myocardial ischemia (1 mm of ST-segment depression for at least 1 minute) were recorded, ranging from 1 to 17 episodes/patient/48 hours. Of the 64 silent myocardial ischemic episodes, 30 (47%) occurred between 6 AM and noon. Duration of silent myocardial ischemia was 798 minutes (range 1 to 80). ST-segment depression ranged from 1 to 4.5 mm. Heart rate at onset of the episodes on ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring ranged from 65 to 150 beats/min (mean 98), which was significantly less than that during treadmill exercise testing in the same patients (mean 120). At cardiac catheterization, 7 patients had 2- or 3-vessel CAD and 3 had 1-vessel CAD. Thus, silent myocardial ischemia is common during daily life in asymptomatic CAD patients with positive treadmill exercise tests.

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