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Am J Cardiol. 1991 May 1;67(11):946-52.

Transient myocardial ischemia during daily life in rest and exertional angina pectoris and comparison of effectiveness of metoprolol versus nifedipine.

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Division of Cardiology, IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.


The clinical characteristics of 65 patients with mixed angina were classified by means of (1) a questionnaire investigating the proportion of symptoms occurring at rest and on effort, (2) an exercise stress test, (3) 24-hour ambulatory Holter monitoring, and (4) coronary arteriography. According to the questionnaire, the proportion of effort-induced anginal episodes ranged from 1 to 99%. The ischemic threshold during exercise testing ranged from 110 x 10(2) to 350 x 10(2) mm Hg x beats/min. At least 1 episode of ST-segment depression was observed in 29 of the 65 patients during Holter monitoring. Ischemic episodes during Holter monitoring were more frequent (p less than 0.05) in patients reporting greater than or equal to 50% of anginal attacks on effort, with moderate to severe limitation of exercise capacity and with multivessel coronary artery disease. The effect on ambulatory ischemia of a 6-week treatment with a beta blocker (metoprolol CR, 200 mg once daily) or a dihydropyridine calcium antagonist (nifedipine retard 20 mg twice daily) were then compared according to a double-blind, parallel group design. Metoprolol significantly reduced the number and duration of the ischemic episodes during daily life (p less than 0.05) irrespective of the patients' clinical characteristics. Nifedipine was ineffective, particularly in patients with angina predominantly on effort and with a moderate to severe reduction in exercise tolerance. It is concluded that in patients with mixed angina, ischemic episodes during daily life are more likely to occur in patients with a clinical presentation suggesting poor coronary reserve.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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