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An important number of patients with suspected cardiac chest pain have non-obstructive coronary artery disease. Our purpose was to describe the clinical characteristics of patients with normal or near-normal coronary arteries in routine cardiological practice in a secondary care hospital.
In 2013, consecutive patients referred for invasive coronary angiography with suspected cardiac chest pain were analysed at a single-centre (Westfriesgasthuis, Hoorn, the Netherlands). Coronary arteries were defined as normal or near-normal if they showed no stenosis or only slight wall irregularities on visual assessment. Patients with a final non-cardiac diagnosis for the chest pain were excluded.
A total of 558 patients were included. Of these, 151 (27%) showed normal or near-normal coronary arteries on visual assessment. This group of patients were significantly more often female (p < 0.001), younger (p < 0.001) and non-diabetic (p = 0.002). Forty percent of hospitalised patients who had normal or near-normal coronary arteries at coronary angiography showed an elevated troponin.
In routine cardiological practice, around 1 out of 4 patients with suspected cardiac chest pain undergoing invasive angiography had normal or near-normal coronary arteries. We suggest that premenopausal women with suspected cardiac chest pain could be considered for non-invasive coronary imaging as a first step in clinical practice.
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- Clinical characteristics of patients with suspected cardiac chest pain and angiographically normal coronary arteries in a secondary care hospital
T. S. de Lange
R. Y. G Tijssen
P. F. M. M. van Bergen
- Bohn Stafleu van Loghum