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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1989 Nov 1;14(5):1166-72.

Ischemia in the ambulatory setting--the total ischemic burden: relation to exercise testing and investigative and therapeutic implications.

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National Heart Hospital, London, England.


To establish the relation between treadmill exercise testing and ambulatory St segment monitoring in the detection of ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease, and to assess whether standard medical therapy affects any such relation, 277 patients with stable angina and angiographically documented coronary artery disease were studied with treadmill exercise testing and 48 h ambulatory ST segment monitoring. One hundred forty-six patients (52%) were studied while receiving no routine antianginal therapy, and 131 (48%) while receiving standard medical therapy. In 187 patients (67%) the exercise test was positive for ischemia. During 11,964 h of ambulatory monitoring, 881 episodes of ischemia (645 [73%] silent) were recorded, of which 809 (92%) occurred in patients with a positive exercise test. The mean heart rate at the onset of ischemic episodes during ambulatory monitoring was significantly less than that at the onset of 1 mm ST segment depression during exercise testing (94.5 versus 105.9 beats/min, p less than 0.0001). However, the frequency of ambulatory ischemic episodes was strongly related to a positive exercise test (p less than 0.001), and this relation was similar for both silent and painful ischemia (p less than 0.0001 for both) and in patients who were and were not receiving therapy (p less than 0.0001 for both). The total duration of ischemia was similarly related to a positive exercise test (p less than 0.0001). Only one patient with a negative exercise test had frequent (greater than 5/day) episodes of ischemia on ambulatory monitoring and had documented coronary artery spasm. Thus, exercise testing identifies the majority of patients likely to have significant ischemia during their daily activities.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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