This study was undertaken to assess the relation of ambulatory myocardial ischemia to heart rate changes and variability in exercise threshold in patients with chronic angina. The study involved 118 patients with chronic angina and proven coronary artery disease who had a 'positive' exercise test result. All patients underwent a first exercise test followed by a 48-h period of ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring. A second exercise test was performed 4 days later. A total of 101 ischemic episodes were recorded in 35 patients. The heart rate at the appearance of 1-mm ST segment depression during ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring was ≥ 20 beats/min lower than that during exercise testing in 58 ischemic episodes (57%, Group A), 10-19 beats/min lower in 26 (26%, Group B), and ≤9 beats/min lower or higher in 17 (17%, Group C). Thirty-five percent of the Group A ischemic episodes, 69% of Group B, and 71% of Group C were preceded by an increase in heart rate of ≥10 beats/min. Thirty patients showed a variable exercise threshold. The prevalence of Group A and B ischemic episodes was not significantly different in patients with fixed or variable exercise threshold, whereas that of Group C episodes was 22% in the former and 0% in the latter (P = 0.036). These results suggest that increased coronary tone may be one of the mechanisms contributing to modulate the occurrence of transient myocardial ischemia in most patients with chronic angina and transient myocardial ischemia at ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring. This occurs regardless of whether the patients have a variable or fixed exercise threshold.
- Chronic angina
- Myocardial ischemia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine