Haemodynamic changes produced by rapid atrial pacing (60 patients, 52 of whom developed angina) or in association with spontaneous angina (32 patients) were measured in 92 patients with angiographic coronary artery disease. The extent of coronary artery disease was scored by the jeopardy score system (range 0 to 12). The haemodynamic changes induced by ischaemia occurred in 3 patterns: pattern I, no change in filling pressure or in mean systemic arterial pressure; pattern II, a rise in filling pressure and a rise in mean systemic arterial pressure; pattern III, a rise in filling pressure, but no significant change or a fall in mean systemic arterial pressure. In patients who had a pattern II or a pattern III response to ischaemia, the change in mean systemic arterial pressure was linearly related to the corresponding change in cardiac output. The likelihood of a patient showing a given pattern of ischaemia-induced haemodynamic change was related to the extent of coronary artery disease; of 22 patients with jeopardy scores of 2 or 4, 91% exhibited pattern I, 9% pattern II, and none pattern III; of 39 patients with jeopardy scores of 6 or 8, 40% exhibited pattern I, 22% pattern II, and 38% pattern III; of 31 patients with jeopardy scores of 10 or 12, 12% exhibited pattern I, 10% pattern II, and 78% pattern III (P less than 0.01). Among the 54 patients in whom serial cardiac output determinations were available, a decline of the left ventricular function curve during ischaemia was demonstrable in 8% of those with a pattern I response, in 54% of those with a pattern II response, and in 90% of those with a pattern III response (P less than 0.01). The pattern of response was unrelated to resting angiographic left ventricular ejection fraction, whether ST segments became elevated or depressed, or whether ischaemia was pacing-induced or spontaneous. These results suggest that the haemodynamic response to ischaemia is determined by the fraction of the left ventricle that becomes dysfunctional during ischaemia.
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