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Circulation. 1998 Nov 3;98(18):1860-8.

Acute coronary syndromes in the GUSTO-IIb trial: prognostic insights and impact of recurrent ischemia. The GUSTO-IIb Investigators.

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  • 1University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. paul.armstrong@ualberta.ca



Recurrent ischemia after an acute coronary syndrome portends an unfavorable outcome and has major resource-use implications. This issue has not been studied systematically among the spectrum of patients with acute coronary presentations, encompassing those with and without ST-segment elevation.


We assessed the 1-year prognosis of the 12 142 patients enrolled in the GUSTO-IIb trial by the presence (n=4125) or absence (n=8001) of ST-segment elevation. This latter group was further categorized into those with baseline myocardial infarction (n=3513) or unstable angina (n=4488). We also assessed the incidence of recurrent ischemia and its impact on outcomes. Recurrent ischemia was significantly rarer in those with ST-segment elevation (23%) than in those without (35%; P<0.001). Mortality at 30 days was greater among patients with ST-segment elevation (6.1% versus 3.8%; P<0.001) but less so at 6 months; by 1 year, mortality did not differ significantly (9.6% versus 8.8%). Patients with non-ST-segment-elevation infarction had higher rates of reinfarction at 6 months (9.8% versus 6.2%) and higher 6-month (8.8% versus 5.0%) and 1-year mortality rates (11.1% versus 7.0%) than such patients who had unstable angina.


Refractory ischemia was associated with an approximate doubling of mortality among patients with ST-segment elevation and a near tripling of risk among those without ST elevation. This study highlights not only the substantial increase in late mortality and reinfarction with non-ST-segment-elevation infarction but also the opportunities for better triage and application of therapeutic strategies for patients with recurrent ischemia.

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