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December 1991

Silent Myocardial Ischemia: A Clinical Perspective

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Fresno, Calif, and the University of California at San Francisco.

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(12):2373-2382. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400120019004

Silent myocardial ischemia has been shown to occur far more frequently than anginal episodes in patients with coronary artery disease. Both an increase in myocardial oxygen demand and abnormalities of coronary vasomotor tone appear to play a significant role in the genesis of silent ischemia. Recent data show that in excess of 40% of patients with stable angina have frequent episodes of silent ischemia. The presence of silent ischemia predicts an increased risk of coronary events and cardiac death. Based on these data, it has been proposed that anti-ischemic therapy should be directed toward control of total ischemic burden. Although several recent studies have demonstrated efficacy of various antianginal drugs in reducing the number and duration of silent ischemic episodes, none has demonstrated beneficial effect on the associated adverse prognosis.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:2373-2382)

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