Among Unstable Angina and Non–ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction Patients, Transient Myocardial Ischemia and Early Invasive Treatment Are Predictors of Major In-hospital Complications

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Abstract

Background:

Treatment for unstable angina (UA) or non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) is aimed at plaque stabilization to prevent infarction. Two treatment strategies are (1) invasive (ie, cardiac catheterization laboratory <24 hours after admission) or (2) selectively invasive (ie, medications with cardiac catheterization laboratory >24 hours for recurrent symptoms). However, it is not known if the frequency of transient myocardial ischemia (TMI) or complications during hospitalization varies by treatment.

Purpose:

We aimed to (1) examine occurrence of TMI in UA/NSTEMI, (2) compare frequency of TMI by treatment pathway, and (3) determine predictors of in-hospital complications (ie, death, myocardial infarction [MI], pulmonary edema, shock, dysrhythmia with intervention).

Methods:

Hospitalized patients with coronary artery disease (ie, history of MI, percutaneous coronary intervention/stent, coronary artery bypass graft, >50% lesion via angiogram, or positive troponin) were recruited, and 12-lead electrocardiogram Holter initiated. Clinicians, blinded to Holter data, decided treatment strategy; offline analysis was done after discharge. Transient myocardial ischemia was defined as more than 1-mm ST segment ↑ or ↓, in more than 1 electrocardiographic lead, more than 1 minute.

Results:

Of 291 patients, 91% were white, 66% were male, 44% had prior MI, and 59% had prior percutaneous coronary intervention/stent or coronary artery bypass graft. Treatment pathway was early in 123 (42%) and selective in 168 (58%). Forty-nine (17%) had TMI: 19 (15%) early invasive, 30 (18%) selective (P = .637). Acute MI after admission was higher in patients with TMI regardless of treatment strategy (early: no TMI 4% vs yes TMI 21%; P = .020; selective: no TMI 1% vs yes TMI 13%; P = .0004). Predictors of major in-hospital complication were TMI (odds ratio, 9.9; 95% confidence interval, 3.84–25.78) and early invasive treatment (odds ratio 3.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.23–10.20).

Conclusions:

In UA/NSTEMI patients treated with contemporary therapies, TMI is not uncommon. The presence of TMI and early invasive treatment are predictors of major in-hospital complications.

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