Clinical significance of exercise-induced silent myocardial ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease

C. Falcone, S. de Servi, E. Poma, C. Campana, A. Sciré, C. Montemartini, G. Specchia

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Exercise-induced silent myocardial ischemia is a frequent feature in patients with coronary artery disease. The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical and angiographic characteristics of 269 patients who complained of chest pain during an exercise test (group I) with those of 204 who developed exercise-induced silent myocardial ischemia (group II). Group I patients more frequently had anginal symptoms of class III and IV of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society than did group II patients, who had milder symptoms (p <0.001). The only angiographic difference observed between the two groups was a slightly but significantly higher left ventricular end-diastolic pressure in group II patients (p <0.05), who also showed a longer exercise duration (p <0.01) with a higher heart rate-systolic pressure product (p <0.01) and more pronounced ST segment depression at peak exercise (p <0.001). Moreover, ventricular ectopic beats during exercise were more frequently observed in group II patients (p <0.05). Coronary bypass surgery was performed in 45% of patients of group I and in 24% of patients of group II (p <0.05). Survival curves of medically treated patients did not show any statistically significant difference between the two groups. Thus, although patients with a defective anginal warning system may have more pronounced signs of myocardial ischemia and a greater incidence of ventricular arrhythmias during exercise, their long-term prognosis is not different from that of patients who are stopped by angina from the activity that is inducing myocardial ischemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-299
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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