How well does the fact that nitroglycerin relieves a patient’s chest pain predict coronary artery disease?

These studies indicate that relief of chest pain by nitroglycerin is not a predictor of coronary artery disease.

Study (N): Henrikson; PMID 14678917 (459 pts given nitroglycerin in ED because of chest pain)

Measures: Pain relief by increase/decrease of self-reported pain 5 min. after admin. of nitroglycerin; CAD by elevated serum enzyme levels, coronary angiography demonstrating a 70% or greater stenosis, or a positive exercise test result

Results: nitroglycerin relieved pain of 35% of pts w/CAD and 41% of pts without CAD

Study: Diercks; PMID 15940087 (664 pts given nitroglycerin in ED because of chest pain)

Measures: Pain relief by 11-point numeric descriptive scale for chest pain recorded before & after initial dose ; Cardiac-related pain by discharge diagnosis of myocardial infarction or the diagnosis of coronary artery disease based on a positive diagnostic study

Results: Relief of pain following nitroglycerin administration was not significantly different between the cardiac diagnosis group and the non-cardiac diagnosis group.

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About Amy

Clinical Informationist at EUH Branch Library
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