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Effects of spinal cord stimulation on myocardial ischaemia during daily life in patients with severe coronary artery disease. A prospective ambulatory electrocardiographic study.
  1. M. J. de Jongste,
  2. J. Haaksma,
  3. R. W. Hautvast,
  4. H. L. Hillege,
  5. P. W. Meyler,
  6. M. J. Staal,
  7. J. E. Sanderson,
  8. K. I. Lie
  1. Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of Groningen, The Netherlands.


    BACKGROUND--Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) may be a useful additional therapy for pain in patients with therapeutically refractory angina pectoris. But doubts remain about whether it also relieves ischaemia. METHODS--Indices of ischaemia were studied with and without SCS in 10 patients with otherwise intractable angina and evidence of myocardial ischaemia on 48 h ambulatory electrocardiographic (ECG) recording. Primary end points assessed by 48 h ECG recordings were total ischaemic burden, number of ischaemic episodes, and duration of ischaemic episodes. In addition, symptoms were assessed by a diary of glyceryl trinitrate intake and angina attacks. RESULTS--During SCS the total ischaemic burden of the entire group was significantly reduced from a median of 27.9 (1.9-278.2) before SCS to 0 (0-70.2) mm x min with SCS (p < 0.03). In six out of the 10 patients there was no myocardial ischaemia during 48 h ambulatory ECG monitoring with SCS. The number of ischaemic episodes was reduced from a median of 3 (1-15) before SCS to 0 (0-9) with SCS (p < 0.04). The duration of ischaemic episodes decreased from a median of 20.6 (1.7-155.4) min before SCS to 0 (0-48.3) min with SCS (p < 0.03). This was accompanied by a significant improvement in symptoms with a reduction in daily glyceryl trinitrate intake from a median of 3.0 (0-10) before SCS to 0.3 (0-10) tablets per 48 h (p < 0.02) and a decrease in the frequency of anginal attacks from a median of 5.5 (2-14) before SCS to 1.0 (0-10) per 48 h with SCS (p < 0.03). CONCLUSIONS--SCS not only reduced symptoms but also myocardial ischaemia. Therefore, SCS appears to be both a safe and an effective therapy for patients with refractory angina.

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