A transducer-tipped catheter with simultaneous frequency modulated electrocardiograms and a miniaturised tape recorder was used to record ambulatory pulmonary artery pressure for 24-48 hours in 19 men (mean age 57.7) with clinical and angiographic evidence of coronary artery disease. Sixty seven episodes of ST segment depression (greater than 1 mm) were recorded. Thirty five were accompanied by pain of which six occurred at night; in 34 pulmonary artery diastolic pressure rose significantly. In all but two of the 32 episodes of painless ST segment depression (four of which were at night) there was a significant rise in pulmonary artery diastolic pressure. No such rise was found in six normal subjects during exertion. ST segment changes tended to occur before (24 episodes) or at the same time (27 episodes) as changes in pulmonary artery diastolic pressure. ST segment depression followed an increase in pulmonary artery diastolic pressure in only 13 episodes. The times to maximum ST depression and maximum pulmonary artery diastolic pressure rise were similar. Painful and painless ST segment depression could not be distinguished on the basis of the configuration of the ST segment or in terms of the changes in the pulmonary artery diastolic pressure.
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