Objective To assess the long-term effect of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in patients with refractory cardiac syndrome X (CSX).
Patients and Design We performed a prospective, controlled, long-term follow-up of 19 CSX patients with refractory angina who underwent SCS (SCS group, 5 men, 60.9±8.5 years); 9 comparable CSX patients who refused SCS treatment (3 men, 60.9±8.8 years) constituted the Control group. Clinical and functional status was assessed at the time of screening for SCS indication (basal evaluation) and at a median follow-up of 36 months (range 15-82).
Results There were no differences between the 2 groups at baseline in clinical characteristics and angina status. All indicators of angina status (angina episode frequency, duration, and short-acting nitrate use) improved significantly at follow-up in the SCS group (p<0.001) but not in controls. Functional status, as assessed by Seattle Angina Questionnaire and a visual analogical scale for quality of life, improved at follow-up in the SCS group (P<0.001 for all scales) but not in controls. Exercise tolerance and exercise-induced angina and ST segment changes also significantly improved in the SCS group but not in controls.
Conclusions Our data show that SCS therapy can be a valid form of treatment for long-term control of angina episodes in patients with refractory CSX.
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