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Rev Esp Cardiol. 2005 Mar;58(3):244-52.

[Management of non-ST-segment-elevation acute coronary syndromes in Spain. The DESCARTES (Descripción del Estado de los Síndromes Coronarios Agudos en un Registro Temporal ESpañol) study].

[Article in Spanish]

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Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain.



There is little information regarding the management of non-ST segment elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE ACS) in Spain from a population-based perspective. Our objective was to study the status of clinical care in patients with NSTE ACS in Spain from a representative perspective of the situation on a national level.


A prospective registry was used for consecutive patients with NSTE ACS admitted to 52 Spanish hospitals with different cardiological facilities. Centers that fulfilled the quality control criteria for the study were randomly selected for inclusion.


Between April and May, 2002, 1877 patients were recruited. Median age was 69 years, 93% had at least one risk factor and 73% had antecedents of cardiovascular disease. The electrocardiogram on admission was abnormal in 76% of the cases, and troponin levels were elevated in 53%. Twenty-seven percent of the patients were admitted to a cardiac care unit or intensive care unit. The rates of use of diagnostic techniques were: echocardiography 56%; non-invasive test for detection of ischemia 39%; coronary angiography 41%. During hospitalization, 24% underwent coronary revascularization, 88% received aspirin, 81% heparin, 37% clopidogrel, 12% glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors, 63% ss-blockers, 46% angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and 52% statins. The final diagnosis was angina in 54%, myocardial infarction in 28%, and other in 18%. Mortality was 3.7% at 28 days and 7.8% at 6 months.


DESCARTES is the first representative registry of NSTE ACS management in Spain. It shows that despite their high-risk profile, these patients receive suboptimal medical care according to current clinical recommendations.

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