Kloner, R. A., Shook, T., Przyklenk, K., Davis, V. G., Junio, L., Matthews, R. V., Burstein, S., Gibson, M., Poole, W. K., Cannon, C. P., et al., Previous angina alters in-hospital outcome in TIMI 4. A clinical correlate to preconditioning? Circulation. 1995;91(1):37-45.

BACKGROUND: Ischemic preconditioning has been shown to reduce myocardial infarct size in experimental models, but its role in patients remains unclear. Angina before myocardial infarction reflects brief episodes of ischemia and may be a marker of preconditioning. As part of the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) 4 study, we performed an analysis on the effect of a history of previous angina on in-hospital outcomes for patients with acute myocardial infarction.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Patients eligible for thrombolytic therapy were enrolled into the study. Data were collected from case report forms regarding previous history of angina, in-hospital outcome and 6-week follow-up. Two hundred eighteen patients had a history of previous angina at any time before acute myocardial infarction, and 198 patients did not have previous angina. Patients with any previous history of angina were less likely than with those without angina to experience in-hospital death (3% versus 8%) (P = .03), severe congestive heart failure (CHF) or shock (1% versus 7%, P = .006), or the combined end point of in-hospital death, severe CHF, or shock (4% versus 12%, P = .004). Moreover, patients with any history of angina were more likely to have a smaller creatine kinase (CK)-determined infarct size (119 versus 154 CK integrated units; P = .01) and were less likely to have Q waves on their ECG (57% versus 69%; P = .01). In the subset of patients who experienced angina within the 48 hours before infarction (compared with those who did not), there was a trend toward less likely in-hospital death (3% versus 6%; P = .09), a lower incidence of severe CHF or shock (1% versus 6% P = .008), a lower combined end point of death, CHF, or shock (3% versus 10%; P = .006), smaller infarct size assessed by CK (115 versus 151 CK units; P = .03), and a trend toward fewer Q-wave infarcts. However, patients with a history of previous angina did have a trend toward more recurrent ischemic pain. Of importance is that the beneficial in-hospital effects of previous angina were not dependent on angiographically visible coronary collaterals.

CONCLUSIONS: Previous angina confers a beneficial effect on in-hospital outcome after acute myocardial infarction. The reasons for this benefit are uncertain, but one potential mechanism for this observation may be ischemic preconditioning.

Trial: TIMI 4