Diver, D. J., Bier, J. D., Ferreira, P. E., Sharaf, B. L., McCabe, C., Thompson, B., Chaitman, B., Williams, D. O., Braunwald, E. Clinical and arteriographic characterization of patients with unstable angina without critical coronary arterial narrowing (from the TIMI-IIIA Trial) American journal of cardiology. 1994;74(6):531-7.

Previous studies have reported that some patients presenting with unstable angina are found at coronary angiography to have no critical coronary stenosis. This study evaluated the clinical presentation and arteriographic findings in patients enrolled in the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Ischemia (TIMI-IIIA) trial, which assessed the effect of tissue-type plasminogen activator added to conventional therapy on the coronary arteriographic findings in patients presenting with ischemic pain at rest. Three hundred ninety-one patients were enrolled in the TIMI-IIIA trial and underwent coronary arteriography within 12 hours of enrollment. Fifty-three patients (14%) had no luminal diameter stenosis of a major coronary artery of > or = 60% on the baseline arteriogram. Compared with patients with unstable angina with an identifiable culprit lesion, patients without critical coronary obstruction were more likely to be women and non-white and less likely to have ST-segment deviation on the presenting electrocardiogram. Arteriography in such patients revealed no visually detectable coronary stenosis in half of the group; the remaining patients had noncritical coronary narrowing (i.e., < 60% luminal diameter stenosis) without morphologic features (ulceration or thrombus) suggestive of unstable or active coronary plaque. Nearly one third of the patients without critical coronary stenosis had impaired angiographic filling, suggesting a possible pathophysiologic role for coronary microvascular dysfunction. These patients with unstable angina and no critical coronary obstruction had an excellent short-term prognosis; 2% died or had myocardial infarction compared with 18% of patients with critical obstruction.

Trial: TIMI 3A