Elevated levels of C-reactive protein at discharge in patients with unstable angina predict recurrent instability.
BACKGROUND: In a group of patients admitted for unstable angina, we investigated whether C-reactive protein (CRP) plasma levels remain elevated at discharge and whether persistent elevation is associated with recurrence of instability. METHODS AND RESULTS: We measured plasma levels of CRP, serum amyloid A protein (SAA), fibrinogen, total cholesterol, and Helicobacter pylori and Chlamydia pneumoniae antibody titers in 53 patients admitted to our coronary care unit for Braunwald class IIIB unstable angina. Blood samples were taken on admission, at discharge, and after 3 months. Patients were followed for 1 year. At discharge, CRP was elevated (>3 mg/L) in 49% of patients; of these, 42% had elevated levels on admission and at 3 months. Only 15% of patients with discharge levels of CRP <3 mg/L but 69% of those with elevated CRP (P<0.001) were readmitted because of recurrence of instability or new myocardial infarction. New phases of instability occurred in 13% of patients in the lower tertile of CRP (/=8.7 mg/L, P<0.001). The prognostic value of SAA was similar to that of CRP; that of fibrinogen was not significant. Chlamydia pneumoniae but not Helicobacter pylori antibody titers significantly correlated with CRP plasma levels. CONCLUSIONS: In unstable angina, CRP may remain elevated for at >/=3 months after the waning of symptoms and is associated with recurrent instability. Elevation of acute-phase reactants in unstable angina could represent a hallmark of subclinical persistent instability or of susceptibility to recurrent instability and, at least in some patients, could be related to chronic Chlamydia pneumoniae infection. (+info
A role for changes in platelet production in the cause of acute coronary syndromes.
Platelets are heterogeneous with respect to their size, density, and reactivity. Large platelets are more active hemostatically, and platelet volume has been found to be increased both in patients with unstable angina and with myocardial infarction. Furthermore, platelet volume is a predictor of a further ischemic event and death when measured after myocardial infarction. Platelets which are anucleate cells with no DNA are derived from their precursor, the megakaryocyte. Therefore, it is suggested that changes in platelet size are determined at thrombopoiesis in the megakaryocyte and that those changes might precede acute cardiac events. Understanding of the signaling system that controls platelet production may also further elucidate the cascade of events leading to acute vascular occlusion in some patients. (+info
Cardioprotection by opening of the K(ATP) channel in unstable angina. Is this a clinical manifestation of myocardial preconditioning? Results of a randomized study with nicorandil. CESAR 2 investigation. Clinical European studies in angina and revascularization.
AIMS: To assess the anti-ischaemic and anti-arrhythmic effects and overall safety of nicorandil, an ATP sensitive potassium (K+) channel opener, with 'cardioprotective' effects, in patients with unstable angina. METHODS: In a multicentre, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study, oral nicorandil 20 mg twice daily or a matching placebo was administered for a minimum of 48 h to patients admitted with unstable angina. Treatment was standardized to include, where tolerated, oral aspirin, a beta-blocker and diltiazem. Continuous Holter ECG monitoring was performed for 48 h to assess the frequency and duration of transient myocardial ischaemia and any tachyarrhythmia, as the predefined end-points of the study. A pain chart recorded the incidence and severity of chest pain throughout the study period. Patients with myocardial infarction identified retrospectively from troponin-T analysis were excluded. RESULTS: Two hundred and forty-five patients were recruited into the study. Forty-three patients were excluded with an index diagnosis of myocardial infarction, two were not randomized and 12 had unsatisfactory tape data. In the remaining 188 patients, six out of 89 patients (6.7%) on nicorandil experienced an arrhythmia, compared with 17 out of 99 patients (17.2%) on placebo (P=0.04). Three nicorandil patients experienced three runs of non-sustained ventricular tachycardia compared to 31 runs in 10 patients on placebo (P=0.087 patients; P<0.0001 runs). Three nicorandil patients had four runs of supraventricular tachycardia, compared to 15 runs in nine patients on placebo (P=0.14 patients; P=0.017 runs). Eleven (12.4%) patients on nicorandil had 37 episodes of transient myocardial ischaemia (mostly silent) compared with 74 episodes in 21 (21.2%) patients on placebo (P=0.12 patients; P=0.0028 episodes). In the overall safety analysis, which included all patients who received at least one dose of study medication, there were no significant differences in the rates of myocardial infarction or death between the nicorandil or placebo-treated groups. CONCLUSIONS: Nicorandil, added to aggressive anti-anginal treatment for unstable angina, reduces transient myocardial ischaemia, non-sustained ventricular, and supraventricular arrhythmia compared to placebo. The anti-arrhythmic activity with nicorandil is probably a secondary effect resulting from its anti-ischaemic action and we suggest that this may be related to its effect on the ATP sensitive potassium channel causing pharmacological preconditioning. (+info
Platelet activation in patients after an acute coronary syndrome: results from the TIMI-12 trial. Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction.
This study was designed to determine the magnitude and time course of platelet activation during therapy of acute coronary syndromes with an oral platelet antagonist. BACKGROUND: Platelet activation and aggregation are central to the pathogenesis of the acute coronary syndromes (ACS). However, few data are available on levels of platelet activation over time in patients with ACS, especially in the setting of chronic glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa inhibition. METHODS: The Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) 12 trial was a phase II, double-blind trial evaluating the effects of sibrafiban, an oral, selective antagonist of the platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor in patients stabilized after an ACS. A subset of 90 of the 329 patients in the study had measurement of platelet activation as assessed by the expression of platelet associated P-Selectin on days 0, 7 and 28. Platelet activation was measured in blood samples that were fixed either immediately (spontaneous activation) or after 5 minute incubation with 0, 1 microM or 5 microM ADP in order to assess platelet responsiveness to very low or moderate stimulation. RESULTS: At baseline there was a significant elevation of spontaneous platelet activation as compared to samples obtained from normal donors or from patients who did not have acute coronary syndromes (ACS patients 27.6+/-18.7%, Normal controls 8.5+/-4.4%, Patient controls 10.9+/-7.1%, p < 0.005 for both). In addition, there was a significant decrease in the levels of platelet activation with time during the 28 days of treatment with sibrafiban. Nevertheless, even on day 28, the TIMI-12 patients continued to show elevated platelet activation in comparison to the control groups (p < 0.05 for both). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that platelets remain activated long after clinical stabilization post ACS. Although platelet activation decreased after one month of oral GPIIb/IIIa inhibition, levels remained higher than normal, suggesting the need for long-term antiplatelet therapy following ACS. (+info
Does coronary artery morphology predict favorable results of intracoronary thrombolysis in patients with unstable angina pectoris?
The efficacy of intracoronary thrombolysis (ICT) for unstable angina pectoris (UAP) has been limited, despite the similar pathogenesis between UAP and acute myocardial infarction. To ascertain the subset of UAP suitable for ICT, the clinical responses to ICT were assessed in patients with UAP. Eighty-2 patients with medically refractory angina were divided into 2 groups according to the coronary artery morphology of the culprit lesion before ICT: (1) lesions with acute cut off and/or filling defects (AC) and (2) lesions with a tapered shape (TA). The TIMI flow grade was determined from coronary angiograms before and immediately after ICT. The diameter stenosis (%DS) and minimal lumen diameter (MLD) of the culprit lesion were determined using quantitative coronary angiographic analysis before and immediately after ICT. In addition, inhospital cardiac event rates including urgent/emergency coronary angioplasty or bypass surgery, nonfatal myocardial infarction or cardiac death were compared between the 2 groups. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed using 13 clinical factors contributing to successful ICT. The results showed that all 3 coronary angiographic parameters (TIMI flow, %DS, and MLD) significantly improved in the AC group (p<0.01, p<0.01 and p<0.05, respectively), whereas none of these parameters improved in the TA group. The inhospital cardiac event rate after ICT was significantly higher in the TA group (76%) than in the AC group (48%; p=0.016). Odds ratio predicting successful ICT was 7.09 (p<0.01) for the AC lesion, and 2.54 (p<0.01) for new angina. In conclusion the AC lesions are more commonly associated with coronary thrombosis that responds to ICT than are the TA lesions. Thus, the coronary angiographic morphology may be an important predictor for a successful ICT in patients with medically refractory UAP. (+info
Coronary artery stenting in unstable angina pectoris: a comparison with stable angina pectoris.
OBJECTIVE: To compare early complication rates in unselected cases of coronary artery stenting in patients with stable v unstable angina. SETTING: Tertiary referral centre. PATIENTS: 390 patients with stable angina pectoris (SAP) and 306 with unstable angina (UAP). Patients treated for acute myocardial infarction (primary angioplasty) or cardiogenic shock were excluded. INTERVENTIONS: 268 coronary stents were attempted in 211 patients (30.3%). Stents used included AVE (63%), Freedom (14%), NIR (7%), Palmaz-Schatz (5%), JO (5%), and Multilink (4%). Intravascular ultrasound was not used in any of the cases. All stented patients were treated with ticlopidine and aspirin together with periprocedural unfractionated heparin. RESULTS: 123 stents were successfully deployed in 99 SAP patients v 132 stents in 103 UAP patients. Failed deployment occurred with nine stents in SAP patients, v four in UAP patients (NS). Stent thrombosis occurred in four SAP patients and 11 UAP patients. Multivariate analysis showed no relation between stent thrombosis and clinical presentation (SAP v UAP), age, sex, target vessel, stent length, or make of stent. Stent thrombosis was associated with small vessel size (p < 0.001) and bailout stenting (p = 0.01) compared with elective stenting and stenting for suboptimal PTCA, with strong trends toward smaller stent diameter (p = 0.052) and number of stents deployed (p = 0.06). Most stent thromboses occurred in vessels < 3 mm diameter. CONCLUSIONS: Coronary artery stenting in unstable angina is safe in vessels >/= 3 mm diameter, with comparable initial success and stent thrombosis rates to stenting in stable angina. (+info
Treatment with the antibiotic roxithromycin in patients with acute non-Q-wave coronary syndromes. The final report of the ROXIS Study.
AIMS: Mounting evidence suggests infection, specifically Chlamydia pneumoniae, plays a role in atherosclerosis. We tested whether antibiotic treatment with the macrolide roxithromycin improves clinical outcome in patients with acute non-Q-wave coronary syndromes. Preliminary reports revealed a reduction in events in the roxithromycin group at 30 days. We now report the long-term follow-up results. METHODS AND RESULTS: Sixty-four per cent of the initial 202 patients with unstable angina who were randomly assigned to receive either roxithromycin or placebo for 30 days completed the active treatment period. At day 30, the primary triple and double end-point rates were 9% and 4% in the placebo group compared to 2% and 0% in the roxithromycin group (unadjusted P = 0.032 and 0.058, respectively). The secondary triple and double end-point rates were again higher in the placebo group at day 90 (12.5% and 6.25% vs 4.37% and 0%, unadjusted P = 0.065 and 0.029, respectively), and at day 180 (14.6% and 7.29% vs 8.69% and 2.17%, unadjusted P = 0.259 and 0.17, respectively). Anti-C, pneumoniae IgG titres were unchanged in both groups while C-reactive protein levels decreased in both strategies, with a more significant decrease in the roxithromycin arm (P = 0.03). Elevated C-reactive protein levels predicted the need for revascularization. CONCLUSIONS: In this pilot trial, roxithromycin appears to extend the clinical benefit of preventing death and re-infarction for at least 6 months after initial treatment. (+info
Diagnostic marker cooperative study for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction.
BACKGROUND: Millions of patients present annually with chest pain, but only 10% to 15% have myocardial infarction. Lack of diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of clinical and conventional markers prevents or delays treatment and leads to unnecessary costly admissions. Comparative data are lacking on the new markers, yet using all of them is inappropriate and expensive. METHODS AND RESULTS: The Diagnostic Marker Cooperative Study was a prospective, multicenter, double-blind study with consecutive enrollment of patients with chest pain presenting to the emergency department. Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity and frequency of increase in patients with unstable angina were determined for creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) subforms, myoglobin, total CK-MB (activity and mass), and troponin T and I on the basis of frequent serial sampling for +info)