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.