The high-risk angina patient. Identification by clinical features, hospital course, electrocardiography and technetium-99m stannous pyrophosphate scintigraphy.
We evaluated 193 consecutive unstable angina patients by clinical features, hospital course and electrocardiography. All patients were managed medically. Of the 193 patients, 150 (78%) had a technetium-99m pyrophosphate (Tc-PYP) myocardial scintigram after hospitalization. Of these, 49 (33%) had positive scintigrams. At a follow-up of 24.9 +/- 10.8 months after hospitalization, 16 of 49 patients (33%) with positive scintigrams died from cardiac causes, compared with six of 101 patients (6%) with negative scintigrams (p less than 0.001). Of 49 patients with positive scintigrams, 11 (22%) had had nonfatal myocardial infarction at follow-up, compared with seven of 101 patients (7%) with negative scintigrams (p less than 0.01). Age, duration of clinical coronary artery disease, continuing angina during hospitalization, ischemic ECG, cardiomegaly and a history of heart failure also correlated with cardiac death at follow-up. Ischemic ECG and a history of angina with a crescendo pattern also correlated with nonfatal infarction at follow-up. Patients with continuing angina, an ischemic ECG and a positive scintigram constituted a high-risk unstable angina subgroup with a survival rate of 58% at 6 months, 47% at 12 months and 42% at 24 and 36 months. We conclude that the assessment of clinical features, hospital course, ECG and Tc-PYP scintigraphy may be useful in identifying high-risk unstable angina patients.
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