During exercise by patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), electrocardiographic evidence of myocardial ischemia may precede the onset of angina or may be unassociated with angina, even at peak levels of stress. However, neither the precise incidence of silent versus symptomatic ischemic episodes nor their interrelation in this setting has been clearly defined. The prevalence of silent and symptomatic myocardial ischemia during treadmill exercise testing was determined in 92 patients with angiographically documented CAD. The study group comprised 77 men (84%) and 15 women (16%) of mean age 57 years (range 32 to 79). Exercise testing resulted in ischemic ST-segment depression (≥1 mm for ≥80 ms) only or in association with delayed (≥1 minute) angina in 39 patients (42%); angina only or in association with delayed ST-segment depression occurred in 42 patients (46%); and simultaneous occurrence of angina and ST-segment depression was noted in 11 patients (12%). Analysis of clinical, exercise and angiographic factors (age, sex, history of myocardial infarction, heart rate, maximal ST-segment depression, extent of CAD and left ventricular ejection fraction) revealed no significant correlation with the frequency of symptomatic and silent myocardial ischemia during exercise. Asymptomatic myocardial ischemia occurred commonly during exercise in patients with CAD, but there were no differences in the characteristics of patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic episodes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine