Stratified Medical Therapy Using Invasive Coronary Function Testing in Angina: The CorMicA Trial

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018 Dec 11;72(23 Pt A):2841-2855. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.09.006. Epub 2018 Sep 25.


Background: Patients with angina symptoms and/or signs of ischemia but no obstructive coronary artery disease (INOCA) pose a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to test whether an interventional diagnostic procedure (IDP) linked to stratified medicine improves health status in patients with INOCA.

Methods: The authors conducted a randomized, controlled, blinded clinical trial of stratified medical therapy versus standard care in patients with angina. Patients with angina undergoing invasive coronary angiography (standard care) were recruited. Patients without obstructive CAD were immediately randomized 1:1 to the intervention group (stratified medical therapy) or the control group (standard care, IDP sham procedure). The IDP consisted of guidewire-based assessment of coronary flow reserve, index of microcirculatory resistance, fractional flow reserve, followed by vasoreactivity testing with acetylcholine. The primary endpoint was the mean difference in angina severity at 6 months (assessed by the Seattle Angina Questionnaire summary score).

Results: A total of 391 patients were enrolled between November 25, 2016, and November 12, 2017. Coronary angiography revealed obstructive disease in 206 (53.7%). One hundred fifty-one (39%) patients without angiographically obstructive CAD were randomized (n = 76 intervention group; n = 75 blinded control group). The intervention resulted in a mean improvement of 11.7 U in the Seattle Angina Questionnaire summary score at 6 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.0 to 18.4; p = 0.001). In addition, the intervention led to improvements in the mean quality-of-life score (EQ-5D index 0.10 U; 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.18; p = 0.024) and visual analogue score (14.5 U; 95% CI: 7.8 to 21.3; p < 0.001). There were no differences in major adverse cardiac events at the 6-month follow-up (2.6% controls vs. 2.6% intervention; p = 1.00).

Conclusions: Coronary angiography often fails to identify patients with vasospastic and/or microvascular angina. Stratified medical therapy, including an IDP with linked medical therapy, is routinely feasible and improves angina in patients with no obstructive CAD. (CORonary MICrovascular Angina [CorMicA]; NCT03193294).

Keywords: INOCA; elective coronary angiography; microvascular angina; stable angina pectoris; stratified medical therapy; vasospastic angina.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microvascular Angina / diagnostic imaging*
  • Microvascular Angina / epidemiology
  • Microvascular Angina / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Single-Blind Method

Associated data