Unstable Angina and Coronary Angioplasty

Circulation. 1990 Sep;82(3 Suppl):II88-95.


Of 2,122 consecutive patients undergoing elective coronary angioplasty from 1982 to 1985, 62% had stable angina pectoris (SAP), and 38% had unstable angina pectoris (UAP). There were differences between the two groups in clinical and morphological factors and in initial and late results of angioplasty. UAP patients were more likely than SAP patients to be smokers and to have had prior myocardial infarctions. Lesions in UAP patients were more severe, longer, more eccentric, more irregular, and more likely to have intracoronary thrombi than were lesions in SAP patients. Coronary angioplasty success was achieved in 84% of UAP and in 88% of SAP patients (p less than 0.05), and complications occurred in 6.7% of UAP and in 4.7% of SAP patients (p less than 0.05). Hospital death rates were low and similar, 0.2% for both groups. Follow-up (mean, 37 months) showed recurrent Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCVS) class III/IV angina in 30.1% of UAP and in 25.2% of SAP patients (p less than 0.05). There was a return to work in 86% of UAP and in 91% of SAP patients (p less than 0.05). When UAP patients' durations of symptoms were further fractionated, it was found that the earlier angioplasty was performed after onset of angina, the lower was the success rate and the higher the complication rate and incidence of late follow-up untoward events. When coronary angioplasty was performed within 1 week of onset of angina ("early"), success was 79.1%; when angioplasty was performed 2 weeks or more after onset of angina ("later"), success was 86.3%. Major cardiac events occurred in 11.5% in the early group and in 4.8% in the later group (p less than 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angina Pectoris / diagnostic imaging
  • Angina Pectoris / physiopathology
  • Angina Pectoris / therapy*
  • Angina, Unstable / diagnostic imaging
  • Angina, Unstable / physiopathology
  • Angina, Unstable / therapy*
  • Angiography
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies