Asymptomatic coronary artery disease in patients with stroke. Prevalence, prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment.
The frequency of angiographically defined asymptomatic CAD in patients with carotid disease is 40%. Although the prognosis of patients with asymptomatic 1-vessel or 2-vessel CAD is good (annual cardiac mortality rate less than 2%), the prognosis of asymptomatic 3-vessel disease or left main CAD is substantially less favorable (annual cardiac mortality 5-8%). Preliminary data from nonrandomized studies suggest that coronary artery bypass surgery significantly lowers cardiac mortality in patients with asymptomatic 3-vessel or left main CAD. Further studies are needed to determine 1) vascular risk factor profiles that are predictive of asymptomatic CAD in patients with cerebrovascular disease and 2) the prevalence of asymptomatic CAD, especially 3-vessel and left main CAD, in patients with a variety of subtypes of cerebrovascular disease (e.g., carotid disease, atherosclerotic vertebrobasilar disease, cardioembolism, penetrating artery disease, stroke of undetermined cause). If the prevalence of asymptomatic 3-vessel or left main CAD is high in a subset of patients with cerebrovascular disease, a randomized study comparing coronary artery bypass surgery with best medical therapy (anti-ischemic agents, lipid-lowering therapy, and aspirin) may be warranted.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association