Treatment of stable ischaemic heart disease: the old and the new

Eur Heart J Suppl. 2020 Jun;22(Suppl E):E54-E59. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/suaa060. Epub 2020 Mar 29.


Stable ischaemic heart disease is a frequent and very heterogeneous condition. Drug therapy is important, in these patients, for improving their prognosis and controlling their symptoms. The typical clinical manifestation of obstructive coronary disease is angina pectoris. This symptom can be improved by various classes of compounds, namely beta-blockers (BBs), calcium antagonist, and nitrates. More recently, ranolazine and ivabradine have been introduced. All these drugs have been proven to reduce significantly angina. On the other hand, there are no evidences supporting improvement in prognosis, besides for the use of BBs, in patients with previous myocardial infarction (MI) or systolic dysfunction. Besides drugs for symptoms control, these patients also receive antiplatelet drugs, specifically aspirin, and lipid lowering compounds such as statins. Furthermore, recent evidences supported the use of low doses direct anticoagulant, or a second antiplatelet agent in patients with previous MI. Similarly, a very low LDL cholesterol level, such as obtained with PCKS9 inhibitors, seems very beneficial in these patients. It is possible that in the near future a specific role for neo-angiogenesis factors and cellular therapies, could be proven, albeit, presently these treatments are not supported by solid evidences.

Keywords: Ischaemic heart disease; Secondary prevention; Stable angina.