Anatomic and prognostic implications of an early positive treadmill exercise test.
Eighty men (group A) with clinical coronary artery disease underwent coronary angiography regardless of symptoms and previous therapy because they had a positive treadmill exercise test in stage I or II of the Bruce protocol. Thirty-four other men (group B) who also had an early positive treadmill test underwent coronary angiography because they had disabling angina pectoris despite medical therapy. We found left main coronary artery stenosis of 50% or greater of the vessel diameter in 28% of group A and 35% of group B (p greater than 0.3). In contrast, only 10% of 93 other catheterized patients who had treadmill tests that were not early positive had left main coronary disease (p less than 0.001). Fifty-four patients from group A who did not have left main stenosis of 50% or greater were treated medically. In this subgroup, 85% had 2 or 3 major coronary vessels with 75% or greater stenosis. These patients had a 36 month survival rate of 89.2%. We conclude that an early positive treadmill test identifies patients who have an increased likelihood of having left main coronary stenosis, even if they are minimally symptomatic. To identify left main coronary stenosis, catheterization may be justified in patients whose angina pectoris has been mild or not intensively treated when they have an early positive treadmill response. After left main coronary stenosis has been excluded, these patients may be treated medically with a low mortality.
Schneider, RM; Seaworth, JF; Dohrmann, ML; Lester, RM; Phillips, HR; Bashore, TM; Baker, JT
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