Multi-lead ST-monitoring in the early assessment of patients with suspected or confirmed unstable coronary artery disease
Abstract: This study evaluated the use of multi-lead ST-monitoring in the early assessment of patients with suspected or confirmed unstable coronary artery disease (UCAD).At continuous 12-lead ECG (c12ECG), the definition of an ischemic episode as a transient ST-deviation ¡Ý0 for at least 1 minute resulted in a good observer agreement (kappa=0.72) and an acceptable incidence of postural ST-changes.When c12ECG was performed from admission and for 12 hours in 630 patients with suspected UCAD, 16% had ischemic episodes. At 30 days, patients with episodes had a higher risk of cardiac death or myocardial infarction (MI) (10% vs. 1.5%). In a multivariate analysis, troponin T¡Ý0.10¦Ìg/l and presence of ischemic episodes were independent predictors of cardiac death or MI. When ST-monitoring and troponin T status were combined, patients could be divided into a low-, intermediate-, and high-risk group with 1%, 4% and 12% risk for cardiac death or MI at 30 days of follow up.As a part of a multicenter trial, including patients with UCAD, 1016 patients underwent ST-monitoring with c12ECG or continuous vectorcardiography (cVCG). Ischemia was detected in 32% and 35%, respectively. When the groups with ischemia were compared, the groups were similar with respect to several clinical variables. Thus, these methods identify the same high-risk population.Of the 629 patients treated non-invasively with extended treatment of low-molecular- weight heparin (LMWH) or placebo, 34% had ischemic episodes. In this group at 3 months, patients administered LMWH had a significantly lower risk of death, MI, or revascularization than patients treated with placebo (35.2% vs. 53.4%). In patients without transient ischemic episodes, the outcome in the LMWH and placebo group was similar.Thus, multi-lead monitoring provides important prognostic information early after admission in this population, and seems to identify patients who benefit most from extended antithrombotic treatment.
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