Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the single most common cause of death in the developed world, responsible for about 1 in every 5 deaths. The morbidity, mortality, and socioeconomic importance of this disease make timely accurate diagnosis and cost-effective management of CAD of the utmost importance. This comprehensive review of the literature highlights key elements in the diagnosis, risk stratification, and management strategies of patients with chronic CAD. Relevant articles were identified by searching the PubMed database for the following terms: chronic coronary artery disease or stable angina. Novel imaging modalities, pharmacological treatment, and invasive (percutaneous and surgical) interventions have revolutionized the current treatment of patients with chronic CAD. Medical treatment remains the cornerstone of management, but revascularization continues to play an important role. In the current economic climate and with health care reform very much on the horizon, the issue of appropriate use of revascularization is important, and the indications for revascularization, in addition to the relative benefits and risks of a percutaneous vs a surgical approach, are discussed.
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