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Can J Cardiol. 1992 Oct;8(8):814-8.

Patients with symptomatic ischemia have larger thallium perfusion abnormalities and more adverse prognosis than patients with silent ischemia.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, St Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario.



To evaluate the mechanism for silent ischemia and the effect on prognosis.


To test the hypothesis that patients with silent (compared with symptomatic) ischemia have less severe ischemia and a more favorable prognosis, the authors prospectively evaluated 152 consecutive patients with a positive exercise electrocardiogram with exercise thallium scintigraphy and followed them for two years.


Tertiary care university-based hospital.


Asymptomatic patients during the exercise test had a greater exercise duration (9.4 +/- 3.1 versus 6.3 +/- 2.5 mins, P < 0.01), maximal heart rate (155 +/- 20 versus 136 +/- 20 beats/min, P < 0.01), systolic blood pressure (184 +/- 21 versus 176 +/- 23 mmHg, P < 0.05) and double product than patients who were symptomatic with chest pain. Although there was no difference in the magnitude of ST depression, time to ST depression was greater in the asymptomatic (5.6 +/- 2.7 mins), compared with symptomatic (4.6 +/- 2.6 mins), group (P < 0.01). Thallium ischemic score was smaller during asymptomatic ischemia (2.1 +/- 2.7) compared with symptomatic ischemia (3.9 +/- 3.1, P < 0.01). These findings were also demonstrated in a subgroup of 107 patients with both a positive exercise electrocardiogram and positive thallium scan. The patients with asymptomatic ischemia had a two-year cardiac event rate of 5.1% compared with 13.8% in the symptomatic patients (P = 0.065).


Patients with asymptomatic ischemia have less severe myocardial ischemia and a better prognosis than patients with symptomatic myocardial ischemia during exercise testing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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