The typical patient with angina is a man >50 years or a woman >60 years of age who complains of episodes of chest discomfort, usually described as heaviness, pressure, squeezing, smothering, or choking and only rarely as frank pain. When the patient is asked to localize the sensation, he or she typically places a hand over the sternum, sometimes with a clenched fist, to indicate a squeezing, central, substernal discomfort (Levine's sign). Angina is usually crescendo-decrescendo in nature, typically lasts 2 to 5 min, and can radiate to either shoulder and to both arms (especially the ulnar surfaces of the forearm and hand). It also can arise in or radiate to the back, interscapular region, root of the neck, jaw, teeth, and epigastrium. Angina is rarely localized below the umbilicus or above the mandible. A useful finding in assessing a patient with chest discomfort is the fact that myocardial ischemic discomfort does not radiate to the trapezius muscles; that radiation pattern is more typical of pericarditis.
Although episodes of angina typically are caused by exertion (e.g., exercise, hurrying, or sexual activity) or emotion (e.g., stress, anger, fright, or frustration) and are relieved by rest, they also may occur at rest [see "Unstable Angina Pectoris," (Chap. 244)] and while the patient is recumbent (angina decubitus). The patient may be awakened at night by typical chest discomfort and dyspnea. Nocturnal angina may be due to episodic tachycardia, diminished oxygenation as the respiratory pattern changes during sleep, or expansion of the intrathoracic blood volume that occurs with recumbency; the latter causes an increase in cardiac size (end-diastolic volume), wall tension, and myocardial oxygen demand that can lead to ischemia and transient left ventricular failure.
The threshold for the development of angina pectoris may vary by time of day and emotional state. Many patients report a fixed threshold for angina, which occurs predictably at a certain level of activity, such as climbing two flights of stairs at a normal pace. In these patients, coronary stenosis and myocardial oxygen supply are fixed, and ischemia is precipitated by an increase in myocardial oxygen demand; they are said to have stable exertional angina. In other patients, the threshold for angina may vary considerably within any particular day and from day to day. In such patients, variations in myocardial oxygen supply, most likely due to changes in coronary vasomotor tone, may play an important role in defining the pattern of angina. A patient may report symptoms upon minor exertion in the morning (a short walk or shaving) yet by midday be capable of much greater effort without symptoms. Angina may also be precipitated by unfamiliar tasks, a heavy meal, exposure to cold, or a combination of these factors.
Exertional angina typically is relieved in 1 to 5 min by slowing or ceasing activities and even more rapidly by rest and sublingual nitroglycerin (see below). Indeed, the diagnosis of angina should be suspect if it does not respond to the combination of these measures. The severity of angina can be conveniently summarized by the Canadian Cardiac Society functional classification (Table 243-1). Its impact on the patient's functional capacity can be described by using the New York Heart Association functional classification (Table 243-1).
Table 243–1. Cardiovascular Disease Classification Chart |Favorite Table|Download (.pdf)
Table 243–1. Cardiovascular Disease Classification Chart
|Class||New York Heart Association Functional Classification||Canadian Cardiovascular Society Functional Classification|
|I||Patients have cardiac disease but without the resulting limitations of physical activity. Ordinary physical activity does not cause undue fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea, or anginal pain.||Ordinary physical activity, such as walking and climbing stairs, does not cause angina. Angina present with strenuous or rapid or prolonged exertion at work or recreation.|
|II||Patients have cardiac disease resulting in slight limitation of physical activity. They are comfortable at rest. Ordinary physical activity results in fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea, or anginal pain.||Slight limitation of ordinary activity. Walking or climbing stairs rapidly, walking uphill, walking or stair climbing after meals, in cold, or when under emotional stress or only during the few hours after awakening. Walking more than two blocks on the level and climbing more than one flight of stairs at a normal pace and in normal conditions.|
|III||Patients have cardiac disease resulting in marked limitation of physical activity. They are comfortable at rest. Less than ordinary physical activity causes fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea, or anginal pain.||Marked limitation of ordinary physical activity. Walking one to two blocks on the level and climbing more than one flight of stairs in normal conditions.|
|IV||Patients have cardiac disease resulting in inability to carry on any physical activity without discomfort. Symptoms of cardiac insufficiency or of the anginal syndrome may be present even at rest. If any physical activity is undertaken, discomfort is increased.||Inability to carry on any physical activity without discomfort—anginal syndrome may be present at rest.|
Sharp, fleeting chest pain or a prolonged, dull ache localized to the left submammary area is rarely due to myocardial ischemia. However, especially in women and diabetic patients, angina pectoris may be atypical in location and not strictly related to provoking factors. In addition, this symptom may exacerbate and remit over days, weeks, or months. Its occurrence can be seasonal, occurring more frequently in the winter in temperate climates. Anginal "equivalents" are symptoms of myocardial ischemia other than angina. They include dyspnea, nausea, fatigue, and faintness and are more common in the elderly and in diabetic patients.
Systematic questioning of a patient with suspected IHD is important to uncover the features of an unstable syndrome associated with increased risk, such as angina occurring with less exertion than in the past, occurring at rest, or awakening the patient from sleep. Since coronary atherosclerosis often is accompanied by similar lesions in other arteries, a patient with angina should be questioned and examined for peripheral arterial disease [intermittent claudication (Chap. 249)], stroke, or transient ischemic attacks (Chap. 370). It is also important to uncover a family history of premature IHD (<55 years in first-degree male relatives and <65 in female relatives) and the presence of diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, cigarette smoking, and other risk factors for coronary atherosclerosis (Chap. 241).
The history of typical angina pectoris establishes the diagnosis of IHD until proven otherwise. In patients with atypical angina (Chap. 12), the coexistence of advanced age, male sex, the postmenopausal state, and risk factors for atherosclerosis increase the likelihood of hemodynamically significant coronary disease. A particularly challenging problem is the evaluation and management of patients with persistent ischemic-type chest discomfort but no flow-limiting obstructions in their epicardial coronary arteries. This situation arises more often in women than in men. Potential etiologies include microvascular coronary disease (detectable on coronary reactivity testing in response to vasoactive agents such as intracoronary adenosine, acetylcholine, and nitroglycerin) and abnormal cardiac nociception. Treatment of microvascular coronary disease should focus on efforts to improve endothelial function, including nitrates, beta blockers, calcium antagonists, statins, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Abnormal cardiac nociception is more difficult to manage and may be ameliorated in some cases by imipramine.
The physical examination is often normal in patients with stable angina when they are asymptomatic. However, because of the increased likelihood of ischemic heart disease in patients with diabetes and/or peripheral arterial disease, clinicians should search for evidence of atherosclerotic disease at other sites, such as an abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid arterial bruits, and diminished arterial pulses in the lower extremities. The physical examination also should include a search for evidence of risk factors for atherosclerosis such as xanthelasmas and xanthomas (Chap. 241). Evidence for peripheral arterial disease should be sought by evaluating the pulse contour at multiple locations and comparing the blood pressure between the arms and between the arms and the legs (ankle-brachial index). Examination of the fundi may reveal an increased light reflex and arteriovenous nicking as evidence of hypertension. There also may be signs of anemia, thyroid disease, and nicotine stains on the fingertips from cigarette smoking.
Palpation may reveal cardiac enlargement and abnormal contraction of the cardiac impulse (left ventricular dyskinesia). Auscultation can uncover arterial bruits, a third and/or fourth heart sound, and, if acute ischemia or previous infarction has impaired papillary muscle function, an apical systolic murmur due to mitral regurgitation. These auscultatory signs are best appreciated with the patient in the left lateral decubitus position. Aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation (Chap. 237), pulmonary hypertension (Chap. 250), and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (Chap. 238) must be excluded, since these disorders may cause angina in the absence of coronary atherosclerosis. Examination during an anginal attack is useful, since ischemia can cause transient left ventricular failure with the appearance of a third and/or fourth heart sound, a dyskinetic cardiac apex, mitral regurgitation, and even pulmonary edema. Tenderness of the chest wall, localization of the discomfort with a single fingertip on the chest, or reproduction of the pain with palpation of the chest makes it unlikely that the pain is caused by myocardial ischemia. A protuberant abdomen may indicate that the patient has the metabolic syndrome and is at increased risk for atherosclerosis.
Although the diagnosis of IHD can be made with a high degree of confidence from the history and physical examination, a number of simple laboratory tests can be helpful. The urine should be examined for evidence of diabetes mellitus and renal disease (including microalbuminuria) since these conditions accelerate atherosclerosis. Similarly, examination of the blood should include measurements of lipids (cholesterol—total, LDL, HDL—and triglycerides), glucose (hemoglobin A1C), creatinine, hematocrit, and, if indicated based on the physical examination, thyroid function. A chest x-ray is important as it may show the consequences of IHD, i.e., cardiac enlargement, ventricular aneurysm, or signs of heart failure. These signs can support the diagnosis of IHD and are important in assessing the degree of cardiac damage. Evidence exists that an elevated level of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) (specifically, between 0 and 3 mg/dL) is an independent risk factor for IHD and may be useful in therapeutic decision making about the initiation of hypolipidemic treatment. The major benefit of high-sensitivity CRP is in reclassifying the risk of IHD in patients in the "intermediate" risk category on the basis of traditional risk factors.
A 12-lead ECG recorded at rest may be normal in patients with typical angina pectoris, but there may also be signs of an old myocardial infarction (Chap. 228). Although repolarization abnormalities, i.e., ST-segment and T-wave changes, as well as left ventricular hypertrophy and disturbances of cardiac rhythm or intraventricular conduction are suggestive of IHD, they are nonspecific, since they also can occur in pericardial, myocardial, and valvular heart disease or, in the case of the former, transiently with anxiety, changes in posture, drugs, or esophageal disease. The presence of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is a significant indication of increased risk of adverse outcomes from ischemic heart disease. Of note, even though LVH and cardiac rhythm disturbances are nonspecific indicators of the development of IHD, they may be contributing factors to episodes of angina in patients in whom IHD has developed as a consequence of conventional risk factors. Dynamic ST-segment and T-wave changes that accompany episodes of angina pectoris and disappear thereafter are more specific.
The most widely used test for both the diagnosis of IHD and the estimation of risk and prognosis involves recording the 12-lead ECG before, during, and after exercise, usually on a treadmill (Fig. 243-1). The test consists of a standardized incremental increase in external workload (Table 243-2) while symptoms, the ECG, and arm blood pressure are monitored. Exercise duration is usually symptom-limited, and the test is discontinued upon evidence of chest discomfort, severe shortness of breath, dizziness, severe fatigue, ST-segment depression >0.2 mV (2 mm), a fall in systolic blood pressure >10 mmHg, or the development of a ventricular tachyarrhythmia. This test is used to discover any limitation in exercise performance, detect typical ECG signs of myocardial ischemia, and establish their relationship to chest discomfort. The ischemic ST-segment response generally is defined as flat or downsloping depression of the ST segment >0.1 mV below baseline (i.e., the PR segment) and lasting longer than 0.08 s (Fig. 243-1). Upsloping or junctional ST-segment changes are not considered characteristic of ischemia and do not constitute a positive test. Although T-wave abnormalities, conduction disturbances, and ventricular arrhythmias that develop during exercise should be noted, they are also not diagnostic. Negative exercise tests in which the target heart rate (85% of maximal predicted heart rate for age and sex) is not achieved are considered nondiagnostic.
Evaluation of the patient with known or suspected ischemic heart disease. At the top of the figure is an algorithm for identifying patients who should be referred for stress testing and the decision pathway for determining whether a standard treadmill exercise with ECG monitoring alone is adequate. A specialized imaging study is necessary if the patient cannot exercise adequately (pharmacologic challenge is given) or if there are confounding features on the resting ECG (symptom-limited treadmill exercise may be used to stress the coronary circulation). At the bottom of the figure are examples of the data obtained with ECG monitoring and specialized imaging procedures. CMR, cardiac magnetic resonance; EBCT, electron beam computed tomography; ECG, electrocardiogram; ECHO, echocardiography; IHD, ischemic heart disease; MIBI, methoxyisobutyl isonitrite; MR, magnetic resonance; PET, positron emission tomography.
A. Lead V4 at rest (top) and after 4½ min of exercise (bottom). There is 3 mm (0.3 mV) of horizontal ST-segment depression, indicating a positive test for ischemia. [Modified from BR Chaitman, in E Braunwald et al (eds): Heart Disease, 6th ed, Philadelphia, Saunders, 2001.]
B. 45-year-old avid jogger who began experiencing classic substernal chest pressure underwent an exercise echo study. With exercise the patient's heart rate increased from 52 to 153 bpm. The left ventricular chamber dilated with exercise, and the septal and apical portions became akinetic to dyskinetic (red arrow). These findings are strongly suggestive of a significant flow-limiting stenosis in the proximal left anterior descending artery, which was confirmed at coronary angiography. [Modified from SD Solomon, in E. Braunwald et al (eds): Primary Cardiology, 2nd ed, Philadelphia, Saunders, 2003.]
C. Stress and rest myocardial perfusion SPECT images obtained with 99m-technetium sestamibi in a patient with chest pain and dyspnea on exertion. The images demonstrate a medium-size and severe stress perfusion defect involving the inferolateral and basal inferior walls, showing nearly complete reversibility, consistent with moderate ischemia in the right coronary artery territory (red arrows). (Images provided by Dr. Marcello Di Carli, Nuclear Medicine Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.)
D. A patient with a prior myocardial infarction presented with recurrent chest discomfort. On cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) cine imaging, a large area of anterior akinesia was noted (marked by the arrows in the top left and right images, systolic frame only). This area of akinesia was matched by a larger extent of late gadolinium-DTPA enhancements consistent with a large transmural myocardial infarction (marked by arrows in the middle left and right images). Resting (bottom left) and adenosine vasodilating stress (bottom right) first-pass perfusion images revealed reversible perfusion abnormality that extended to the inferior septum. This patient was found to have an occluded proximal left anterior descending coronary artery with extensive collateral formation. This case illustrates the utility of different modalities in a CMR examination in characterizing ischemic and infarcted myocardium. DTPA, diethylenetriamine penta-acetic acid. (Images provided by Dr. Raymond Kwong, Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.)
E. Stress and rest myocardial perfusion PET images obtained with rubidium-82 in a patient with chest pain on exertion. The images demonstrate a large and severe stress perfusion defect involving the mid and apical anterior, anterolateral, and anteroseptal walls and the LV apex, showing complete reversibility, consistent with extensive and severe ischemia in the mid-left anterior descending coronary artery territory (red arrows). (Images provided by Dr. Marcello Di Carli, Nuclear Medicine Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.)
Table 243–2. Relation of Metabolic Equivalent Tasks (METs) to Stages in Various Testing Protocolsfunctional Class |Favorite Table|Download (.pdf)
Table 243–2. Relation of Metabolic Equivalent Tasks (METs) to Stages in Various Testing Protocolsfunctional Class
In interpreting ECG stress tests, the probability that coronary artery disease (CAD) exists in the patient or population under study (i.e., pretest probability) should be considered. Overall, false-positive or false-negative results occur in one-third of cases. However, a positive result on exercise indicates that the likelihood of CAD is 98% in males who are >50 years with a history of typical angina pectoris and who develop chest discomfort during the test. The likelihood decreases if the patient has atypical or no chest pain by history and/or during the test.
The incidence of false-positive tests is significantly increased in patients with low probabilities of IHD, such as asymptomatic men < age 40 or premenopausal women with no risk factors for premature atherosclerosis. It is also increased in patients taking cardioactive drugs, such as digitalis and antiarrhythmic agents, and in those with intraventricular conduction disturbances, resting ST-segment and T-wave abnormalities, ventricular hypertrophy, or abnormal serum potassium levels. Obstructive disease limited to the circumflex coronary artery may result in a false-negative stress test since the lateral portion of the heart that this vessel supplies is not well represented on the surface 12-lead ECG. Since the overall sensitivity of exercise stress electrocardiography is only ~75%, a negative result does not exclude CAD, although it makes the likelihood of three-vessel or left main CAD extremely unlikely.
The physician should be present throughout the exercise test. It is important to measure total duration of exercise, the times to the onset of ischemic ST-segment change and chest discomfort, the external work performed (generally expressed as the stage of exercise), and the internal cardiac work performed, i.e., by the heart rate–blood pressure product. The depth of the ST-segment depression and the time needed for recovery of these ECG changes are also important. Because the risks of exercise testing are small but real—estimated at one fatality and two nonfatal complications per 10,000 tests—equipment for resuscitation should be available. Modified (heart rate–limited rather than symptom-limited) exercise tests can be performed safely in patients as early as 6 days after uncomplicated myocardial infarction (Table 243-2). Contraindications to exercise stress testing include rest angina within 48 h, unstable rhythm, severe aortic stenosis, acute myocarditis, uncontrolled heart failure, severe pulmonary hypertension, and active infective endocarditis.
The normal response to graded exercise includes progressive increases in heart rate and blood pressure. Failure of the blood pressure to increase or an actual decrease with signs of ischemia during the test is an important adverse prognostic sign, since it may reflect ischemia-induced global left ventricular dysfunction. The development of angina and/or severe (>0.2 mV) ST-segment depression at a low workload, i.e., before completion of stage II of the Bruce protocol, and/or ST-segment depression that persists >5 min after the termination of exercise increases the specificity of the test and suggests severe IHD and a high risk of future adverse events.
(See also Chap. 229) When the resting ECG is abnormal (e.g., preexcitation syndrome, >1 mm of resting ST-segment depression, left bundle branch block, paced ventricular rhythm), information gained from an exercise test can be enhanced by stress myocardial radionuclide perfusion imaging after the intravenous administration of thallium-201 or 99m-technetium sestamibi during exercise (or with pharmacologic) stress. Contemporary data also suggest positron emission tomography (PET) imaging (with exercise or pharmacologic stress) using N-13 ammonia or rubidium-82 nuclide as another technique for assessing perfusion. Images obtained immediately after cessation of exercise to detect regional ischemia are compared with those obtained at rest to confirm reversible ischemia and regions of persistently absent uptake that signify infarction.
A sizable fraction of patients who need noninvasive stress testing to identify myocardial ischemia and increased risk of coronary events cannot exercise because of peripheral vascular or musculoskeletal disease, exertional dyspnea, or deconditioning. In these circumstances, an intravenous pharmacologic challenge is used in place of exercise. For example, dipyridamole or adenosine can be given to create a coronary "steal" by temporarily increasing flow in nondiseased segments of the coronary vasculature at the expense of diseased segments. Alternatively, a graded incremental infusion of dobutamine may be administered to increase MVO2. A variety of imaging options are available to accompany these pharmacologic stressors (Fig. 243-1). The development of a transient perfusion defect with a tracer such as thallium-201 or 99m-technetium sestamibi is used to detect myocardial ischemia.
Echocardiography is used to assess left ventricular function in patients with chronic stable angina and patients with a history of a prior myocardial infarction, pathologic Q waves, or clinical evidence of heart failure. Two-dimensional echocardiography can assess both global and regional wall motion abnormalities of the left ventricle that are transient when due to ischemia. Stress (exercise or dobutamine) echocardiography may cause the emergence of regions of akinesis or dyskinesis that are not present at rest. Stress echocardiography, like stress myocardial perfusion imaging, is more sensitive than exercise electrocardiography in the diagnosis of IHD. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) stress testing is also evolving as an alternative to radionuclide, PET, or echocardiographic stress imaging. CMR stress testing performed with dobutamine infusion can be used to assess wall motion abnormalities accompanying ischemia, as well as myocardial perfusion. CMR can be used to provide more complete ventricular evaluation using multislice MR imaging (MRI) studies.
Atherosclerotic plaques become progressively calcified over time, and coronary calcification in general increases with age. For this reason, methods for detecting coronary calcium have been developed as a measure of the presence of coronary atherosclerosis. These methods involve computed tomography (CT) applications that achieve rapid acquisition of images [electron beam (EBCT), and multidetector (MDCT) detection]. Coronary calcium detected by these imaging techniques most commonly is quantified by using the Agatston score, which is based on the area and density of calcification. Although the diagnostic accuracy of this imaging method is high (sensitivity, 90–94%; specificity, 95–97%; negative predictive value, 93–99%), its prognostic utility has not been defined. Thus, its role in CT, EBCT, and MDCT scans for the detection and management of patients with IHD has not been clarified.
(See also Chap. 230) This diagnostic method outlines the lumina of the coronary arteries and can be used to detect or exclude serious coronary obstruction. However, coronary arteriography provides no information about the arterial wall, and severe atherosclerosis that does not encroach on the lumen may go undetected. Of note, atherosclerotic plaques characteristically are scattered throughout the coronary tree, tend to occur more frequently at branch points, and grow progressively in the intima and media of an epicardial coronary artery at first without encroaching on the lumen, causing an outward bulging of the artery—a process referred to as remodeling (Chap. 241). Later in the course of the disease, further growth causes luminal narrowing.
Coronary arteriography is indicated in (1) patients with chronic stable angina pectoris who are severely symptomatic despite medical therapy and are being considered for revascularization, i.e., a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), (2) patients with troublesome symptoms that present diagnostic difficulties in whom there is a need to confirm or rule out the diagnosis of IHD, (3) patients with known or possible angina pectoris who have survived cardiac arrest, (4) patients with angina or evidence of ischemia on noninvasive testing with clinical or laboratory evidence of ventricular dysfunction, and (5) patients judged to be at high risk of sustaining coronary events based on signs of severe ischemia on noninvasive testing, regardless of the presence or severity of symptoms (see below).
Examples of other indications for coronary arteriography include the following:
Patients with chest discomfort suggestive of angina pectoris but a negative or nondiagnostic stress test who require a definitive diagnosis for guiding medical management, alleviating psychological stress, career or family planning, or insurance purposes.
Patients who have been admitted repeatedly to the hospital for a suspected acute coronary syndrome (Chaps. 244 and 245) but in whom this diagnosis has not been established and in whom the presence or absence of CAD should be determined.
Patients with careers that involve the safety of others (e.g., pilots, firefighters, police) who have questionable symptoms or suspicious or positive noninvasive tests and in whom there are reasonable doubts about the state of the coronary arteries.
Patients with aortic stenosis or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and angina in whom the chest pain could be due to IHD.
Male patients >45 years and females >55 years who are to undergo a cardiac operation such as valve replacement or repair and who may or may not have clinical evidence of myocardial ischemia.
Patients after myocardial infarction, especially those who are at high risk after myocardial infarction because of the recurrence of angina or the presence of heart failure, frequent ventricular premature contractions, or signs of ischemia on the stress test.
Patients with angina pectoris, regardless of severity, in whom noninvasive testing indicates a high risk of coronary events (poor exercise performance or severe ischemia).
Patients in whom coronary spasm or another nonatherosclerotic cause of myocardial ischemia (e.g., coronary artery anomaly, Kawasaki disease) is suspected.
Noninvasive alternatives to diagnostic coronary arteriography include CT angiography and cardiac MR angiography (Chap. 229). Although these new imaging techniques can provide information about obstructive lesions in the epicardial coronary arteries, their exact role in clinical practice has not been rigorously defined. Important aspects of their use that should be noted include the substantially higher radiation exposure with CT angiography compared to conventional diagnostic arteriography and the limitations on cardiac MR imposed by cardiac movement during the cardiac cycle, especially at high heart rates.
The principal prognostic indicators in patients known to have IHD are age, the functional state of the left ventricle, the location(s) and severity of coronary artery narrowing, and the severity or activity of myocardial ischemia. Angina pectoris of recent onset, unstable angina (Chap. 244), early postmyocardial infarction angina, angina that is unresponsive or poorly responsive to medical therapy, and angina accompanied by symptoms of congestive heart failure all indicate an increased risk for adverse coronary events. The same is true for the physical signs of heart failure, episodes of pulmonary edema, transient third heart sounds, and mitral regurgitation and for echocardiographic or radioisotopic (or roentgenographic) evidence of cardiac enlargement and reduced (<0.40) ejection fraction.
Most important, any of the following signs during noninvasive testing indicates a high risk for coronary events: inability to exercise for 6 min, i.e., stage II (Bruce protocol) of the exercise test; a strongly positive exercise test showing onset of myocardial ischemia at low workloads (≥0.1 mV ST-segment depression before completion of stage II, ≥0.2 mV ST depression at any stage, ST depression for >5 min after the cessation of exercise, a decline in systolic pressure >10 mmHg during exercise, the development of ventricular tachyarrhythmias during exercise); the development of large or multiple perfusion defects or increased lung uptake during stress radioisotope perfusion imaging; and a decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction during exercise on radionuclide ventriculography or during stress echocardiography. Conversely, patients who can complete stage III of the Bruce exercise protocol and have a normal stress perfusion scan or negative stress echocardiographic evaluation are at very low risk for future coronary events. The finding of frequent episodes of ST-segment deviation on ambulatory ECG monitoring (even in the absence of symptoms) is also an adverse prognostic finding.
On cardiac catheterization, elevations of left ventricular end-diastolic pressure and ventricular volume and reduced ejection fraction are the most important signs of left ventricular dysfunction and are associated with a poor prognosis. Patients with chest discomfort but normal left ventricular function and normal coronary arteries have an excellent prognosis. Obstructive lesions of the left main (>50% luminal diameter) or left anterior descending coronary artery proximal to the origin of the first septal artery are associated with a greater risk than are lesions of the right or left circumflex coronary artery because of the greater quantity of myocardium at risk. Atherosclerotic plaques in epicardial arteries with fissuring or filling defects indicate increased risk. These lesions go through phases of inflammatory cellular activity, degeneration, endothelial dysfunction, abnormal vasomotion, platelet aggregation, and fissuring or hemorrhage. These factors can temporarily worsen the stenosis and cause thrombosis and/or abnormal reactivity of the vessel wall, thus exacerbating the manifestations of ischemia. The recent onset of symptoms, the development of severe ischemia during stress testing (see above), and unstable angina pectoris (Chap. 244) all reflect episodes of rapid progression in coronary lesions.
With any degree of obstructive CAD, mortality is greatly increased when left ventricular function is impaired; conversely, at any level of left ventricular function, the prognosis is influenced importantly by the quantity of myocardium perfused by critically obstructed vessels. Therefore, it is essential to collect all the evidence substantiating past myocardial damage (evidence of myocardial infarction on ECG, echocardiography, radioisotope imaging, or left ventriculography), residual left ventricular function (ejection fraction and wall motion), and risk of future damage from coronary events (extent of coronary disease and severity of ischemia defined by noninvasive stress testing). The larger the quantity of established myocardial necrosis is, the less the heart is able to withstand additional damage and the poorer the prognosis is. Risk estimation must include age, presenting symptoms, all risk factors, signs of arterial disease, existing cardiac damage, and signs of impending damage (i.e., ischemia).
The greater the number and severity of risk factors for coronary atherosclerosis [advanced age (>75 years), hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, morbid obesity, accompanying peripheral and/or cerebrovascular disease, previous myocardial infarction], the worse the prognosis of an angina patient. Evidence exists that elevated levels of C-reactive protein in the plasma, extensive coronary calcification on electron beam CT (see above), and increased carotid intimal thickening on ultrasound examination also indicate an increased risk of coronary events.
Treatment: Stable Angina Pectoris
Once the diagnosis of ischemic heart disease has been made, each patient must be evaluated individually with respect to his or her level of understanding, expectations and goals, control of symptoms, and prevention of adverse clinical outcomes such as myocardial infarction and premature death. The degree of disability as well as the physical and emotional stress that precipitates angina must be recorded carefully to set treatment goals. The management plan should include the following components: (1) explanation of the problem and reassurance about the ability to formulate a treatment plan, (2) identification and treatment of aggravating conditions, (3) recommendations for adaptation of activity as needed, (4) treatment of risk factors that will decrease the occurrence of adverse coronary outcomes, (5) drug therapy for angina, and (6) consideration of revascularization.
Explanation and Reassurance
Patients with IHD need to understand their condition and realize that a long and productive life is possible even though they have angina pectoris or have experienced and recovered from an acute myocardial infarction. Offering results of clinical trials showing improved outcomes can be of great value in encouraging patients to resume or maintain activity and return to work. A planned program of rehabilitation can encourage patients to lose weight, improve exercise tolerance, and control risk factors with more confidence.
Identification and Treatment of Aggravating Conditions
A number of conditions may increase oxygen demand or decrease oxygen supply to the myocardium and may precipitate or exacerbate angina in patients with IHD. Left ventricular hypertrophy, aortic valve disease, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may cause or contribute to angina and should be excluded or treated. Obesity, hypertension, and hyperthyroidism should be treated aggressively to reduce the frequency and severity of anginal episodes. Decreased myocardial oxygen supply may be due to reduced oxygenation of the arterial blood (e.g., in pulmonary disease or, when carboxyhemoglobin is present, due to cigarette or cigar smoking) or decreased oxygen-carrying capacity (e.g., in anemia). Correction of these abnormalities, if present, may reduce or even eliminate angina pectoris.
Myocardial ischemia is caused by a discrepancy between the demand of the heart muscle for oxygen and the ability of the coronary circulation to meet that demand. Most patients can be helped to understand this concept and utilize it in the rational programming of activity. Many tasks that ordinarily evoke angina may be accomplished without symptoms simply by reducing the speed at which they are performed. Patients must appreciate the diurnal variation in their tolerance of certain activities and should reduce their energy requirements in the morning, immediately after meals, and in cold or inclement weather. On occasion, it may be necessary to recommend a change in employment or residence to avoid physical stress.
Physical conditioning usually improves the exercise tolerance of patients with angina and has substantial psychological benefits. A regular program of isotonic exercise that is within the limits of the individual patient's threshold for the development of angina pectoris and that does not exceed 80% of the heart rate associated with ischemia on exercise testing should be strongly encouraged. Based on the results of an exercise test, the number of metabolic equivalent tasks (METs) performed at the onset of ischemia can be estimated (Table 243-2) and a practical exercise prescription can be formulated to permit daily activities that will fall below the ischemic threshold (Table 243-3).
Table 243–3. Energy Requirements for Some Common Activities |Favorite Table|Download (.pdf)
Table 243–3. Energy Requirements for Some Common Activities
|Less Than 3 METs||3–5 METs||5–7 METs||7–9 METs||More Than 9 METs|
|Washing/shaving||Cleaning windows||Easy digging in garden||Heavy shoveling||Carrying loads upstairs (objects more than 90 lb)|
|Dressing||Raking||Level hand lawn mowing||Carrying objects (60–90 lb)||Climbing stairs (quickly)|
|Light housekeeping||Power lawn mowing||Carrying objects (30–60 lb)||Shoveling heavy snow|
|Desk work||Bed making/stripping|
|Driving auto||Carrying objects (15–30 lb)|
|Sitting (clerical/ assembly)||Stocking shelves (light objects||Carpentry (exterior)||Digging ditches (pick and shovel)||Heavy labor|
|Desk work||Light welding/carpentry||Shoveling dirt|
|Standing (store clerk)||Sawing wood|
Snow skiing (downhill)
|Walking (2 mph)||Level walking (3–4 mph)||Level walking (4.5–5.0 mph)||Level jogging (5 mph)||Running more than 6 mph|
|Stationary bike||Level biking (6–8 mph)||Bicycling (9–10 mph)||Swimming, breast stroke||Bicycling (more than 13 mph)|
|Very light calisthenics||Light calisthenics||Swimming (crawl stroke)|
Bicycling (12 mph)
Walking uphill (5 mph)
Treatment of Risk Factors
A family history of premature IHD is an important indicator of increased risk and should trigger a search for treatable risk factors such as hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. Obesity impairs the treatment of other risk factors and increases the risk of adverse coronary events. In addition, obesity often is accompanied by three other risk factors: diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. The treatment of obesity and these accompanying risk factors is an important component of any management plan. A diet low in saturated and trans-unsaturated fatty acids and a reduced caloric intake to achieve optimal body weight are a cornerstone in the management of chronic IHD. It is especially important to emphasize weight loss and regular exercise in patients with the metabolic syndrome or overt diabetes mellitus.
Cigarette smoking accelerates coronary atherosclerosis in both sexes and at all ages and increases the risk of thrombosis, plaque instability, myocardial infarction, and death (Chap. 241). In addition, by increasing myocardial oxygen needs and reducing oxygen supply, it aggravates angina. Smoking cessation studies have demonstrated important benefits with a significant decline in the occurrence of these adverse outcomes. The physician's message must be clear and strong and supported by programs that achieve and monitor abstinence (Chap. 395). Hypertension (Chap. 247) is associated with an increased risk of adverse clinical events from coronary atherosclerosis as well as stroke. In addition, the left ventricular hypertrophy that results from sustained hypertension aggravates ischemia. There is evidence that long-term effective treatment of hypertension can decrease the occurrence of adverse coronary events.
Diabetes mellitus (Chap. 344) accelerates coronary and peripheral atherosclerosis and is frequently associated with dyslipidemias and increases in the risk of angina, myocardial infarction, and sudden coronary death. Aggressive control of the dyslipidemia (target LDL cholesterol <70 mg/dL) and hypertension (target BP 120/80) that are frequently found in diabetic patients is highly effective and therefore essential, as described below.
The treatment of dyslipidemia is central in aiming for long-term relief from angina, reduced need for revascularization, and reduction in myocardial infarction and death. The control of lipids can be achieved by the combination of a diet low in saturated and trans-unsaturated fatty acids, exercise, and weight loss. Nearly always, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) are required and can lower LDL cholesterol (25–50%), raise HDL cholesterol (5–9%), and lower triglycerides (5–30%). A powerful treatment effect of statins on atherosclerosis, IHD, and outcomes is seen regardless of the pretreatment LDL cholesterol level. Fibrates or niacin can be used to raise HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides (Chaps. 241 and 356). Controlled trials with lipid-regulating regimens have shown equal proportional benefit for men, women, the elderly, diabetic patients, and even smokers.
Compliance with the health-promoting behaviors listed above is generally very poor, and a conscientious physician must not underestimate the major effort required to meet this challenge. Fewer than one-half of patients in the United States discharged from the hospital with proven coronary disease receive treatment for dyslipidemia. In light of the proof that treating dyslipidemia brings major benefits, physicians need to establish treatment pathways, monitor compliance, and follow up regularly.
Risk Reduction in Women with IHD
The incidence of clinical IHD in premenopausal women is very low; however, after menopause, the atherogenic risk factors increase (e.g., increased LDL, reduced HDL) and the rate of clinical coronary events accelerates to the levels observed in men. Women have not given up cigarette smoking as effectively as have men. Diabetes mellitus, which is more common in women, greatly increases the occurrence of clinical IHD and amplifies the deleterious effects of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and smoking. Cardiac catheterization and coronary revascularization are underused in women and are performed at a later and more severe stage of the disease than in men. When cholesterol lowering, beta blockers after myocardial infarction, and coronary artery bypass grafting are applied in the appropriate patient groups, women receive the same benefits of improved outcome as do men.
The commonly used drugs for the treatment of angina pectoris are summarized in Tables 243-4, 243-5, and 243-6. Pharmacotherapy for IHD is designed to reduce the frequency of anginal episodes, myocardial infarction, and coronary death. There is a wealth of positive trial data to emphasize how important this medical management is when added to the health-promoting behaviors discussed above. To achieve maximum benefit from medical therapy for IHD, it is frequently necessary to combine agents from different classes and titrate the doses as guided by the individual profile of risk factors, symptoms, hemodynamic responses, and side effects.
Table 243–4. Nitroglycerin and Nitrates for Patients with Ischemic Heart Disease |Favorite Table|Download (.pdf)
Table 243–4. Nitroglycerin and Nitrates for Patients with Ischemic Heart Disease
|Compound||Route||Dose||Duration of Effect|
|Nitroglycerin||Sublingual tablets ||0.3–0.6 mg up to 1.5 mg ||Approximately 10 min |
|Spray ||0.4 mg as needed ||Similar to sublingual tablets |
2% 6 × 6 in. 15 ×15 cm
|Effect up to 7 h |
|Transdermal ||0.2–0.8 mg/h every 12 h ||8–12 h during intermittent therapy |
|Oral sustained release ||2.5–13 mg ||4–8 h |
|Intravenous||5–200 mcg/min||Tolerance may be seen in 7–8 h|
|Isosorbide dinitrate||Sublingual ||2.5–10 mg ||Up to 60 min |
|Oral ||5–80 mg, 2–3 times daily ||Up to 8 h |
|Spray ||1.25 mg daily ||2–3 min |
|Chewable ||5 mg ||2–2 ½ h |
|Oral slow release||40 mg 1–2 daily ||Up to 8 h |
|Intravenous ||1.25–5.0 mg/h ||Tolerance in 7–8 h |
|Ointment||100 mg/24 h||Not effective|
20 mg twice daily
60–240 mg once daily
|Pentaerythritol tetranitrate||Sublingual||10 mg as needed||Not known|
Table 243–5. Properties of Beta Blockers in Clinical Use for Ischemic Heart Disease |Favorite Table|Download (.pdf)
Table 243–5. Properties of Beta Blockers in Clinical Use for Ischemic Heart Disease
|Drugs||Selectivity||Partial Agonist Activity||Usual Dose for Angina|
|Acebutolol||β1||Yes||200–600 mg twice daily|
|Esmolol (intravenous)a||β1||No||50–300 mcg/kg/min|
|Labetalolb||None||Yes||200–600 mg twice daily|
|Metoprolol||β1||No||50–200 mg twice daily|
|Nebivolol||β1 (at low doses)||No||5–40 mg/day|
|Pindolol||None||Yes||2.5–7.5 mg 3 times daily|
|Propranolol||None||No||80–120 mg twice daily|
|Timolol||None||No||10 mg twice daily|
Table 243–6. Calcium Channel Blockers in Clinical Use for Ischemic Heart Disease |Favorite Table|Download (.pdf)
Table 243–6. Calcium Channel Blockers in Clinical Use for Ischemic Heart Disease
|Drugs||Usual Dose||Duration of Action||Side Effects|
|Amlodipine||5–10 mg qd ||Long ||Headache, edema|
|Felodipine||5–10 mg qd ||Long ||Headache, edema |
|Isradipine||2.5–10 mg bid ||Medium ||Headache, fatigue |
|Nicardipine||20–40 mg tid ||Short ||Headache, dizziness, flushing, edema |
Immediate release:* 30–90 mg daily orally
Slow release: 30–180 mg orally
|Short||Hypotension, dizziness, flushing, nausea, constipation, edema |
|Nisoldipine||20–40 mg qd||Short||Similar to nifedipine|
Immediate release: 30–80 mg 4 times daily
Slow release: 120–320 mg qd
|Hypotension, dizziness, flushing, bradycardia, edema |
Immediate release: 80–160 mg tid
Slow release: 120–480 mg qd
|Hypotension, myocardial depression, heart failure, edema, bradycardia|
The organic nitrates are a valuable class of drugs in the management of angina pectoris (Table 243-4). Their major mechanisms of action include systemic venodilation with concomitant reduction in left ventricular end-diastolic volume and pressure, thereby reducing myocardial wall tension and oxygen requirements; dilation of epicardial coronary vessels; and increased blood flow in collateral vessels. When metabolized, organic nitrates release nitric oxide (NO) that binds to guanylyl cyclase in vascular smooth muscle cells, leading to an increase in cyclic guanosine monophosphate, which causes relaxation of vascular smooth muscle. Nitrates also exert antithrombotic activity by NO-dependent activation of platelet guanylyl cyclase, impairment of intraplatelet calcium flux, and platelet activation.
The absorption of these agents is most rapid and complete through the mucous membranes. For this reason, nitroglycerin is most commonly administered sublingually in tablets of 0.4 or 0.6 mg. Patients with angina should be instructed to take the medication both to relieve angina and also approximately 5 min before stress that is likely to induce an episode. The value of this prophylactic use of the drug cannot be overemphasized.
Nitrates improve exercise tolerance in patients with chronic angina and relieve ischemia in patients with unstable angina as well as patients with Prinzmetal's variant angina (Chap. 244). A diary of angina and nitroglycerin use may be valuable for detecting changes in the frequency, severity, or threshold for discomfort that may signify the development of unstable angina pectoris and/or herald an impending myocardial infarction.
None of the long-acting nitrates are as effective as sublingual nitroglycerin for the acute relief of angina. These organic nitrate preparations can be swallowed, chewed, or administered as a patch or paste by the transdermal route (Table 243-4). They can provide effective plasma levels for up to 24 h, but the therapeutic response is highly variable. Different preparations and/or administration during the daytime should be tried only to prevent discomfort while avoiding side effects such as headache and dizziness. Individual dose titration is important to prevent side effects. To minimize the effects of tolerance, the minimum effective dose should be used and a minimum of 8 h each day kept free of the drug to restore any useful response(s).
These drugs represent an important component of the pharmacologic treatment of angina pectoris (Table 243-5). They reduce myocardial oxygen demand by inhibiting the increases in heart rate, arterial pressure, and myocardial contractility caused by adrenergic activation. Beta blockade reduces these variables most strikingly during exercise but causes only small reductions at rest. Long-acting beta-blocking drugs or sustained-release formulations offer the advantage of once-daily dosing (Table 243-5). The therapeutic aims include relief of angina and ischemia. These drugs also can reduce mortality and reinfarction rates in patients after myocardial infarction and are moderately effective antihypertensive agents.
Relative contraindications include asthma and reversible airway obstruction in patients with chronic lung disease, atrioventricular conduction disturbances, severe bradycardia, Raynaud's phenomenon, and a history of mental depression. Side effects include fatigue, reduced exercise tolerance, nightmares, impotence, cold extremities, intermittent claudication, bradycardia (sometimes severe), impaired atrioventricular conduction, left ventricular failure, bronchial asthma, worsening claudication, and intensification of the hypoglycemia produced by oral hypoglycemic agents and insulin. Reducing the dose or even discontinuation may be necessary if these side effects develop and persist. Since sudden discontinuation can intensify ischemia, the doses should be tapered over 2 weeks. Beta blockers with relative β1-receptor specificity such as metoprolol and atenolol may be preferable in patients with mild bronchial obstruction and insulin-requiring diabetes mellitus.
Calcium channel blockers (Table 243-6) are coronary vasodilators that produce variable and dose-dependent reductions in myocardial oxygen demand, contractility, and arterial pressure. These combined pharmacologic effects are advantageous and make these agents as effective as beta blockers in the treatment of angina pectoris. They are indicated when beta blockers are contraindicated, poorly tolerated, or ineffective. Verapamil and diltiazem may produce symptomatic disturbances in cardiac conduction and bradyarrhythmias. They also exert negative inotropic actions and are more likely to aggravate left ventricular failure, particularly when used in patients with left ventricular dysfunction, especially if the patients are also receiving beta blockers. Although useful effects usually are achieved when calcium channel blockers are combined with beta blockers and nitrates, individual titration of the doses is essential with these combinations. Variant (Prinzmetal's) angina responds particularly well to calcium channel blockers (especially members of the dihydropyridine class), supplemented when necessary by nitrates (Chap. 244).
Verapamil ordinarily should not be combined with beta blockers because of the combined adverse effects on heart rate and contractility. Diltiazem can be combined with beta blockers in patients with normal ventricular function and no conduction disturbances. Amlodipine and beta blockers have complementary actions on coronary blood supply and myocardial oxygen demands. Whereas the former decreases blood pressure and dilates coronary arteries, the latter slows heart rate and decreases contractility. Amlodipine and the other second-generation dihydropyridine calcium antagonists (nicardipine, isradipine, long-acting nifedipine, and felodipine) are potent vasodilators and are useful in the simultaneous treatment of angina and hypertension. Short-acting dihydropyridines should be avoided because of the risk of precipitating infarction, particularly in the absence of concomitant beta-blocker therapy.
Choice between Beta Blockers and Calcium Channel Blockers for Initial Therapy
Since beta blockers have been shown to improve life expectancy after acute myocardial infarction (Chaps. 244 and 245) and calcium channel blockers have not, the former may also be preferable in patients with angina and a damaged left ventricle. However, calcium channel blockers are indicated in patients with the following: (1) inadequate responsiveness to the combination of beta blockers and nitrates; many of these patients do well with a combination of a beta blocker and a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, (2) adverse reactions to beta blockers such as depression, sexual disturbances, and fatigue, (3) angina and a history of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, (4) sick-sinus syndrome or significant atrioventricular conduction disturbances, (5) Prinzmetal's angina, or (6) symptomatic peripheral arterial disease.
Aspirin is an irreversible inhibitor of platelet cyclooxygenase and thereby interferes with platelet activation. Chronic administration of 75–325 mg orally per day has been shown to reduce coronary events in asymptomatic adult men over age 50, patients with chronic stable angina, and patients who have or have survived unstable angina and myocardial infarction. There is a dose-dependent increase in bleeding when aspirin is used chronically. It is preferable to use an enteric-coated formulation in the range of 81-162 mg/d. Administration of this drug should be considered in all patients with IHD in the absence of gastrointestinal bleeding, allergy, or dyspepsia. Clopidogrel (300–600 mg loading and 75 mg/d) is an oral agent that blocks P2Y12 ADP receptor–mediated platelet aggregation. It provides benefits similar to those of aspirin in patients with stable chronic IHD and may be substituted for aspirin if aspirin causes the side effects listed above. Clopidogrel combined with aspirin reduces death and coronary ischemic events in patients with an acute coronary syndrome (Chap. 244) and also reduces the risk of thrombus formation in patients undergoing implantation of a stent in a coronary artery (Chap. 246). Alternative antiplatelet agents that block the P2Y12 platelet receptor such as prasugrel have been shown to be more effective than clopidogrel for prevention of ischemic events after placement of a stent for an acute coronary syndrome but are associated with an increased risk of bleeding. Although combined treatment with clopidogrel and aspirin for at least a year is recommended in patients with an acute coronary syndrome treated with implantation of a drug-eluting stent, studies have not shown any benefit from the routine addition of clopidogrel to aspirin in patients with chronic stable IHD.
The angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are widely used in the treatment of survivors of myocardial infarction, patients with hypertension or chronic IHD including angina pectoris, and those at high risk of vascular diseases such as diabetes. The benefits of ACE inhibitors are most evident in IHD patients at increased risk, especially if diabetes mellitus or LV dysfunction is present, and those who have not achieved adequate control of blood pressure and LDL cholesterol on beta blockers and statins. However, the routine administration of ACE inhibitors to IHD patients who have normal LV function and have achieved blood pressure and LDL goals on other therapies does not reduce the incidence of events and therefore is not cost-effective.
Despite treatment with nitrates, beta blockers, or calcium channel blockers, some patients with IHD continue to experience angina, and additional medical therapy is now available to alleviate their symptoms. Ranolazine, a piperazine derivative, may be useful for patients with chronic angina despite standard medical therapy. Its antianginal action is believed to occur via inhibition of the late inward sodium current (INa). The benefits of INa inhibition include limitation of the Na overload of ischemic myocytes and prevention of Ca2+ overload via the Na+–Ca2+ exchanger. A dose of 500–1000 mg orally twice daily is usually well tolerated. Ranolazine is contraindicated in patients with hepatic impairment or with conditions or drugs associated with QTc prolongation and when drugs that inhibit the CYP3A metabolic system (e.g., ketoconazole, diltiazem, verapamil, macrolide antibiotics, HIVprotease inhibitors, and large quantities of grapefruit juice) are being used.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use in patients with IHD may be associated with a small but finite increased risk of MI and mortality. For this reason, they generally should be avoided in IHD patients. If they are required for symptom relief, it is advisable to coadminister aspirin and strive to use the lowest NSAID dose required for the shortest period of time.
Another class of agents open ATP-sensitive potassium channels in myocytes, leading to a reduction of free intracellular calcium ions. The major drug in this class is nicorandil, which typically is administered orally in a dose of 20 mg twice daily for prevention of angina. (Nicorandil is not available for use in the United States but is used in several other countries.)
Transient left ventricular failure with angina can be controlled by the use of nitrates. For patients with established congestive heart failure the increased left ventricular wall tension raises myocardial oxygen demand. Treatment of congestive heart failure with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, a diuretic, and digoxin (Chap. 234) reduces heart size, wall tension, and myocardial oxygen demand, which helps control angina and ischemia. If the symptoms and signs of heart failure are controlled, an effort should be made to use beta blockers not only for angina but because trials in heart failure have shown significant improvement in survival. A trial of the intravenous ultra-short-acting beta blocker esmolol may be useful to establish the safety of beta blockade in selected patients. Nocturnal angina often can be relieved by the treatment of heart failure.
The combination of congestive heart failure and angina in patients with IHD usually indicates a poor prognosis and warrants serious consideration of cardiac catheterization and coronary revascularization.