Frequency of silent myocardial ischemia with 12-lead ST segment monitoring in the coronary care unit: Are there sex-related differences?

Mary G. Adams, Michele M. Pelter, Shu Fen Wung, Carrie A. Taylor, Barbara J. Drew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Ischemia that occurs in the coronary care unit (CCU), whether symptomatic of silent, is associated with significant in-hospital and out-of-hospital complications. Studies have reported that more than 90% of ischemic episodes are silent in patients with unstable angina who are treated in the CCU with maximal medical therapy. Prior reports indicate that women complained more frequently of chest pain than men did. PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare the frequency of silent myocardial ischemia in men versus women with use of continuous 12-lead ST segment monitoring in the CCU. A secondary goal was to determine whether silent ischemia was associated with less ST segment deviation as compared with METHOD: Patients admitted for treatment of acute coronary syndrome in the CCU and who subsequently had 1 or more ischemic events during their monitoring period were selected for this analysis. All patients were continuously monitored (42.5 hours ± 37.6) in the CCU with the EASI (Zymed Medical Instruments, Camarillo, Calif) 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) system that derives 12 leads with use of 3 information channels and 5 electrodes. RESULTS: Of 491 patients, 128 (91 men and 37 women) had at least 1 episode of transient myocardial ischemia. Men and women did not differ in their proportion of chest pain during ischemia (men 27% and women 21%, NS). For both men and women, ST segment deviation was significantly greater during symptomatic ischemia compared with silent ischemia. CONCLUSION: There are no sex-related differences in ischemic events in the CCU in regards to the variables of chest pain and sT magnitude. Therefore, because chest pain is not a reliable indicator of myocardial ischemia in the CCU, regardless of sex, patients should be adequately monitored for ischemic events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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