Detailed angiographic analysis of women with suspected ischemic chest pain (pilot phase data from the NHLBI-sponsored Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation [WISE] Study Angiographic Core Laboratory)

Am J Cardiol. 2001 Apr 15;87(8):937-41; A3. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(01)01424-2.


The purpose of this study is to provide a contemporary qualitative and quantitative analysis of coronary angiograms from a large series of women enrolled in the Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) study who had suspected ischemic chest pain. Previous studies have suggested that women with chest pain have a lower prevalence of significant coronary artery disease (CAD) compared with men. Detailed analyses of angiographic findings relative to risk factors and outcomes are not available. All coronary angiograms were reviewed in a central core laboratory. Quantitative measurement of percent stenosis was used to assess the presence and severity of disease. Of the 323 women enrolled in the pilot phase, 34% had no detectable, 23% had measurable but minimal, and 43% had significant ( > 50% diameter stenosis) CAD. Of those with significant CAD, most had multivessel disease. Features suggesting complex plaque were identified in < 10%. Age, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, prior myocardial infarction (MI), current hormone replacement therapy, and unstable angina were all significant, independent predictors of presence of significant disease (p < 0.05). Subsequent hospitalization for a cardiac cause occurred more frequently in those women with minimal and significant disease compared with no disease (p = 0.001). The common findings of no and extensive CAD among symptomatic women at coronary angiography highlight the need for better clinical noninvasive evaluations for ischemia. Women with minimal CAD have intermediate rates of rehospitalization and cardiovascular events, and thus should not be considered low risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chest Pain / diagnosis
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Coronary Angiography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / classification
  • Myocardial Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / etiology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Smoking / adverse effects


  • Cholesterol