OBJECTIVE To determine whether anginal episodes might be related to extremes of hypotension in patients with ischaemic heart disease taking drugs to treat angina and heart failure.
DESIGN AND SETTING Observational study of patients with ischaemic heart disease attending an urban tertiary referral cardiology centre.
INTERVENTIONS AND OUTCOME MEASURES A selected patient population was enrolled, having: angina on one or more hypotensive cardiovascular medications; hypotension on clinic or ambulatory measurement; and a resting ECG suitable for ambulatory monitoring. Patients had echocardiography, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, and Holter monitoring. Hypotension induced ischaemic (HII) events were defined as episodes of ST segment ischaemia occurring at least one minute after an ambulatory blood pressure measurement (systolic/diastolic) below 100/65 mm Hg during the day, or 90/50 mm Hg at night.
RESULTS 25 suitable patients were enrolled, and 107 hypotensive events were documented. 40 ST events occurred in 14 patients, of which a quarter were symptomatic. Fourteen HII events occurred in eight patients, with 13 of the 14 preceded by a fall in diastolic pressure (median diastolic pressure 57.5 mm Hg, interquartile range 11, maximum 72 mm Hg, minimum 45 mm Hg), and six preceded by a fall in systolic pressure (χ2 = 11.9, p < 0.001). ST events were significantly associated with preceding hypotensive events (χ2 = 40.2, p < 0.0001). Patients with HII events were more frequently taking multiple hypotensive drug regimens (8/8v 9/17, χ2 = 5.54, p = 0.022).
CONCLUSIONS In patients with ischaemic heart disease and hypotension, symptomatic and silent ischaemia occurred in a temporally causal relation with hypotension, particularly for diastolic pressures, suggesting that patients with coronary disease may be susceptible to ischaemic events incurred as a result of low blood pressure caused by excessive hypotensive drug treatment.
- ischaemic heart disease
- drug treatment
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