Drugs & Aging

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 109–121

Contemporary Management of Chronic Stable Angina


    • Department of CardiologySt Bartholomew’s Hospital
Therapy in Practice

DOI: 10.2165/00002512-200118020-00004

Cite this article as:
Staniforth, A.D. Drugs & Aging (2001) 18: 109. doi:10.2165/00002512-200118020-00004


Chronic stable angina is a common condition with a prognosis that is less benign than is generally appreciated. The optimal treatment strategy of this disorder is unclear, and few anti-ischaemic agents have been rigorously tested in prospectively randomised mortality studies. The evidence base for the anti-ischaemic therapy of chronic angina draws upon data ‘borrowed’ from studies in acute coronary syndromes, and from studies in chronic angina using surrogate endpoints such as ambulatory silent ischaemia. Such evidence leads us to believe that anti-ischaemic therapy with β-blockers offers a mortality benefit in chronic angina. In contrast, the mortality benefit of lipid lowering therapy and antiplatelet agents is well proven.

Angioplasty offers no mortality benefit in the treatment of chronic angina, although it is more effective than medical therapy alone for the relief of symptoms. In a few patients with high order proximal coronary disease, coronary bypass surgery offers a distinct mortality advantage compared with medical treatment alone. Most patients, however, do not warrant such an approach, and only require surgery for when they remain symptomatic despite adequate medical therapy. Alternative strategies such as cardiac transplantation, transmyocardial laser revascularisation and spinal cord stimulation are now accepted in a subgroup of patients for the treatment of chronic angina refractory to standard therapy.

Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 2001