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Clinical presentation and functional prognosis in syndrome X.
  1. A Chauhan,
  2. P A Mullins,
  3. S I Thuraisingham,
  4. M C Petch,
  5. P M Schofield
  1. Regional Cardiac Unit, Papworth Hospital, Papworth Everard, Cambridge.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES--To assess the effect of clinical presentation on functional prognosis in patients with syndrome X. DESIGN--A prospective study. Patients with syndrome X presenting with unstable angina and stable angina were followed up with a questionnaire to examine their functional state. PATIENTS--41 patients with syndrome X and unstable angina and 41 patients with syndrome X and stable angina. Syndrome X was defined as typical anginal chest pain, a positive exercise test, and normal coronary angiogram. SETTING--Regional cardiothoracic centre. RESULTS--The mean follow up time was 36 (range 20-51) months for the unstable angina group and 35 (range 19-51) months for the stable angina group. No patient was lost to follow up in either group. At follow up 28 patients in the unstable angina group were pain free compared with 15 patients in the stable angina group (p = 0.008). Seven patients in the unstable angina group had further hospital admission with chest pain after the cardiac catheterisation compared wtih 12 patients in the stable angina group (NS). Seven patients in the unstable angina group believed that they had heart disease compared with 27 in the stable angina group (p < 0.001). 26 patients in the unstable angina group but only eight patients in the stable angina group were unlimited in their physical activity (p < 0.001). 12 patients in the unstable angina group compared with 27 patients in the stable angina group were unable to work normally because of chest pain (p < 0.001). The mean (SD) duration of symptoms before cardiac catheterisation was 7.9 (4.7) months in the unstable angina group and 13.4 (5.6) months in the stable angina group (p < 0.001). 10 patients in the unstable angina group and 24 patients in the stable angina group still attended hospital outpatient clinics because of chest pain (p = 0.004). 16 patients in the unstable angina group and 29 patients in the stable angina group were still taking regular antianginal medication (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS--Patients with syndrome X who present with unstable angina have a significantly better functional prognosis than those presenting with symptoms of stable angina. This may reflect differences in underlying pathophysiological mechanisms.

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