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Unstable coronary artery disease in post-menopausal women: Identifying patients with significant coronary artery disease by basic clinical parameters and exercise test
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Care, Cardiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Care, Cardiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Heart Centre, Department of Cardiology Thoracic Radiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Heart Centre, Department of Cardiology Thoracic Radiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
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1998 (English)In: European Heart Journal, ISSN 0195-668X, E-ISSN 1522-9645, Vol. 19, no 6, 899-907 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background The diagnostic information from an ECG taken while at rest and an exercise test is considered less reliable in women than in men, mostly due to a high percentage offalse-positive tests. This can be explained by a lower pre-test likelihood of coronary heart disease.

Aims To evaluate the diagnostic information that can be gained from basic clinical parameters, an ECG and exercise test in a group of post-menopausal women with symptoms of unstable coronary artery disease in order to identify patients with significant coronary artery stenoses.

Methods and Results We prospectively studied 200 postmenopausal women admitted to the coronary care unit with symptoms of unstable coronary artery disease and ECG changes suggestive of ischaemia. The diagnostic value of common risk factors, myocardial enzymes and an early exercise test were assessed. A coronary angiogram was performed within 60 days. Median age was 67 years. On admission, 38% had ST depression on an ECG taken while at rest, 76% had T-wave inversion, and 41% increased enzyme levels. The coronary angiogram revealed that 15% had no atherosclerosis, 14% had atherosclerosis but no lesion ≥ 50% of luminal diameter and 71 % had at least one significant stenosis. Of patients with known indicators of atherosclerotic disease, all but one had atherosclerosis visualized on the coronary angiogram. A relative ST depression ≥ 0·1 m V and a low maximum workload at exercise test were strong predictors of significant coronary artery disease. The positive predictive value of ST depression was 91% and of low maximum workload 84%.

Conclusion In post-menopausal women with signs of unstable angina and ischaemia on an ECG taken while at rest, the prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis is high, 85%. Contrary to earlier studies, ST T-changes at the early exercise test had a high positive predictive value, especially in combination with a low maximum workload with no false-positive results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1998. Vol. 19, no 6, 899-907 p.
Keyword [en]
women, coronary angiography, unstable angina, exercise test, electrocardiography, risk factors
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-26815DOI: 10.1053/euhj.1997.0867Local ID: 11427OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-26815DiVA: diva2:247365
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Clinical and Laboratory Investigations in Postmenopusal Women with Unstable Coronary Artery Disease
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Clinical and Laboratory Investigations in Postmenopusal Women with Unstable Coronary Artery Disease
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the major cause of death in both sexes in the western world. In men with chest pain the diagnostic methods are more useful than in women. An exercise test is considered less reliable in women, mostly due to a high percentage offalse positive tests. Furthermore, 20-40% of women with typical angina have normal vessels at coronary angiography. The mechanisms behind the chest pain in these patients are unknown, but could be due to disturbances in endothelial, thrombogenetic and/or fibrinolytic function.

In a prospective multicentre trial we examined 200 postmenopausal women with unstable CAD and 101 healthy controls. At coronary angiography 15% had normal vessels, 14% had non-significant atherosclerosis and 71% had at least one significant stenosis.

The diagnostic information from basic clinical parameters, ECG and an early exercise test were evaluated. The prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis was high, 85%, and the early exercise test was just as valuable as in men for identifying patients with significant CAD.

Endothelial markers, cyclic GMP (cGMP) and immunoreactive endothelin (irET), were analysed regarding presence or not of coronary atherosclerosis. Patients with normal vessels had low levels of ir-Ef, indicating different mechanisms for ischemia/angina in these patients compared with patients with atherosclerosis. No differences were found regarding cGMP, unless the patient had long-term nitroglycerin treatment, which increased plasma cGMP. Patients with exerciseinduced ischemia had higher cGMP plasma levels compared to those without. This may reflect a general compensatory mechanism.

New lipid variables, apolipoproteins and lipoprotein particles, were no better than the routine lipid examination in separating women with and without coronary atherosclerosis, and the measurement of apolipoproteins and lipoprotein particles on the basis of diagnostic accuracy alone is not justified. Also, elevated triglycerides was most pronounced in women with unstable CAD and coronary atherosclerosis.

Plasma total homocysteine (tHey) is considered a risk factor for CAD, but the relationship between tHey and well-defined CAD in women is still unclear. Mild hyperhomocysteinemia was not related to the risk of unstable CAD in postmenopausal women. Our study stresses the importance of adjusting tHey for the covariates, i.e. age and serum values of folate, vitamin Bl2 and creatinine.

Fibrinolytic and coagulation variables did neither reveal signs of disturbed fibrinolysis nor were in favour of a hypercoagulable/hyperthrombotic state in patients with unstable CAD and normal vessels.

In summary, the prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women with signs and symptoms of unstable CAD is high. An early exercise test together with basic clinical parameters is a valuable diagnostic tool. Although there were differences in biochemical markers between patients with and without coronary atherosclerosis, the overlapping between the groups was high. No clinically useful test to separate these two groups was found. Patients with normal vessels were much alike the control group and it is still unclear whether these patients have CAD without atherosclerosis or another mechanism for their chest pain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2000. 105 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 615
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-27526 (URN)12182 (Local ID)91-7219-572-X (ISBN)12182 (Archive number)12182 (OAI)
Public defence
2000-02-04, Berzeliussalen, Universitetssjukhuset, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2012-08-06Bibliographically approved
2. Diagnostic and Prognostic Evaluation in Postmenopausal Women with Signs and Symptoms of Unstable Coronary Artery Disease
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Diagnostic and Prognostic Evaluation in Postmenopausal Women with Signs and Symptoms of Unstable Coronary Artery Disease
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the major cause of death in both men and women in the western world. The majority of studies undertaken to evaluate diagnostic methods, risk stratification and treatment of CAD, have been performed on men. Although there are studies reporting gender differences in the presentation of symptoms, prognosis and response to treatment, current recommendations for practice are based on a model of the disease in men.

The diagnostic information from basic clinical data, ECG and an early symptomlimited exercise test was evaluated in a prospective study on 200 postmenopausal women with unstable CAD. The prevalence of atherosclerosis was high (85%). A patient history and markers of myocardial injury were good predictors of significant CAD and the exercise test was as valuable for the assessment of this diagnosis in women as that reported in men.

The incremental diagnostic values of basic clinical data, the exercise test and 201TI SPECT were assessed in 121 postmenopausal women after an episode of unstable CAD. There was an incremental diagnostic value of 201TI SPECT compared to basic data and the exercise test when diagnosing significant CAD, but not regarding the identification of extensive CAD.

Evaluation of symptom-limited exercise test for risk stratification in postmenopausal women with unstable CAD was carried out on a population of 395 women in the "FRagmin during InStability in CAD" (FRISC I) Study. The exercise test was a good predictor of future cardiac death and myocardial infarction (MI) if parameters reflecting cardiac performance also were taken under consideration and not only chest pain and ST-segment depression, two parameters reflecting ischaemia and often used in studies on men. However, the patients who, after admission, did not become stable enough to perform the exercise test, had the highest risk of adverse future events.

Comparison of symptom limited exercise test and troponin T measurements for risk stratification in women and men was performed in the FRISC I study population. It was concluded that the early symptom-limited exercise test and troponin T are at least as useful as prognostic risk indicators in women as they are in men.

The gender differences in outcome after early revascularisation compared to noninvasive management was assessed in 749 women and 1708 men in the "Fast Revascularisation during InStability in CAD" (FRISC II) Study. Women were older, had less severe CAD and a better prognosis than men. Men had a more favourable outcome if randomised to early revascularisation, whereas there was an opposite trend in women, although not significant. The different outcome in women may partly be explained by A high procedure-related event rate in the invasive group compared to the non-invasive group, and an overall low event rate during follow-up. Further research is needed in this area, and in the mean time, a more conservative approach to revascularisation in women, guided by risk stratification seems reasonable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2000. 110 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 647
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-27546 (URN)12207 (Local ID)91-7219-748-X (ISBN)12207 (Archive number)12207 (OAI)
Public defence
2000-11-10, Berzeliussalen, Universitetssjukhuset, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2012-08-15Bibliographically approved

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Säfström, KågeNielsen, Niels ErikSwahn, Eva

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