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Research Article

Myocardial ischaemia in patients with frequent angina pectoris.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 09 December 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:1594
  1. A P Selwyn,
  2. K Fox,
  3. M Eves,
  4. D Oakley,
  5. H Dargie,
  6. J Shillingford


    One hundred patients with angina pectoris underwent 16-point electrocardiographic (ECG) mapping of the left hemithorax during a standardised exercise test. Forty-five patients had maximum ST-segment depression at position V5, while 35 had no ECG signs of ischaemia at this position. In 20 V5 was on the edge of the precordial area, which showed less severe ST-depression than the central positions. An Oxford ECG recorder and highspeed analyser were modified and used in 50 of the patients with daily angina for recording ST-segment changes over 24 hours. Serial 24-hour ambulatory recordings from the edge of the precordial area of ischaemia identified during exercise detected a mean of only 14 +/- SD 3% of the episodes of ST-segment changes recorded from the centre of the same area. Only 16 +/- 2% of the episodes detected by ECG were accompanied by chest pain. More episodes occurred between 4 am and 6 am than at any other time during the night. This study shows the importance of recording ECG evidence of ischaemia from the precordial position showing maximum changes during exercise. ECG evidence of ischaemia occurs more frequently than anginal pain. These objective measurements add important information to the frequency of chest pain reported by patients with ischaemic heart disease.