In a cohort of 1,720 consecutive patients from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA) Registry (August 1985–May 1986), we compared 768 patients (45%) with stable angina and 952 patients (55%) with unstable angina pectoris. Unstable angina patients exhibited at least one of the following characteristics: new onset angina, rapidly progressing angina, angina at rest, angina refractory to medication, variant angina, acute coronary insufficiency, or angina recurring shortly after an acute myocardial infarct. The distribution of single‐ and multi‐vessel disease was similar among stable and unstable angina patients; multi‐vessel disease predominated. Average severity of stenosis and incidence of tubular and diffuse stenosis morphology were higher among patients with unstable angina (both p<0.001). Patient success rates were similar in stable and unstable patients. However, on a per lesion basis, overall angiographic success rate and average reduction of severity of stenosis in successfully dilated lesions were significantly higher among patients with unstable angina (both p<0.001). Incidence of major patient complications (p<0.01) and of emergency coronary bypass surgery (p<0.05) were also higher in patients with unstable angina but consistent with their more precarious clinical condition and stenosis morphology. During a two year follow‐up, the cumulative distributions of death, myocardial infarct, repeat PTCA, and coronary bypass surgery were not significantly different in patients with stable angina compared to patients with unstable angina. Comparison of the current PTCA Registry cohort with the cases reported in the 1979–1982 Registry revealed a 19% higher success rate for both stable and unstable angina patients. Major complication rates decreased between time periods for stable but not for unstable angina patients. Incidence of emergency bypass surgery decreased more for stable than for unstable angina patients. Coronary angioplasty is indicated in properly selected patients with unstable angina and both single‐and‐multi‐vessel coronary disease.
- emergency bypass surgery
- multi‐vessel disease
- single‐vessel disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine