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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1989 Jul;14(1):31-7; discussion 38-9.

Risk stratification in patients with first non-Q wave infarction: limited value of the early low level exercise test after uncomplicated infarcts. The Multicenter Post-Infarction Research Group.

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  • 1Cardiology Division, Jewish Hospital, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


Risk stratification using clinical and historical variables plus early low level exercise testing was performed in 141 patients with a first non-Q wave myocardial infarction. The 111 patients who performed the exercise test had a 3.6% cardiac mortality rate in the first year compared with 13.3% in the 30 patients who could not exercise (p = 0.063), and a 1 year incidence rate of recurrent cardiac events (cardiac death or recurrent nonfatal myocardial infarction) of 10.8% compared with 23.3% (p = 0.127). Patients who developed ischemia (ST depression or angina) during the test had an increased incidence of cardiac events in the year after the infarction (odds ratio greater than 3, p less than 0.05). When patients were subgrouped by the presence or absence of pulmonary congestion, the discriminatory value of the exercise test was seen to reside primarily in the cohort with pulmonary congestion. For example, ST depression during exercise in this group identified patients with a 71% incidence of cardiac events in the year after the infarction compared with 5.3% for those without ST depression (odds ratio 45, p = 0.002). In the patients without pulmonary congestion, the exercise test had no discriminatory value. It is concluded that early low level exercise testing has a limited role after an uncomplicated non-Q wave infarction, but is useful in patients with clinical markers of higher risk.

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