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Am J Cardiol. 1978 Feb;41(2):216-20.

Angiographic evaluation of the natural history of normal coronary arteries and mild coronary atherosclerosis.


Between September 1966 and September 1976, a group of 48 patients with normal coronary arteries or nonsignificant coronary atherosclerosis documented in a first coronary arteriogram underwent a second angiogram because of persistent or recurrent chest pain. The interval between studies was 13 to 108 months (mean 42 months). The indication for the first angiogram was typical or atypical anginal pain. The patients were separated into two groups according to the results of the first angiogram. Group I included 22 patients, 9 men and 13 women, with normal coronary arteries (mean age 49 years, range 28 to 62). Group II included 26 patients, 18 men and 8 women, with coronary stenosis of less than 50% of intraluminal diameter (mean age 49 years, range 38 to 63). The second angiogram revealed normal coronary arteries in all 22 patients in Group I but showed progression of diseases in 7 (27%) of the 26 patients in group II. The coronary arterial narrowings were greater than 50% in four patients and greater than 70% in only two patients. The clinical course, coronary risk factors and interval between angiograms were not useful predictors of progression of disease. The data suggest that coronary artery disease is unlikely to developed in adults with normal coronary arteries and that roughly 75% of adults with nonsignificant atherosclerosis will not show progression of disease over a 3 to 4 year period.

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