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Parker J.D.,University of Toronto | Parker J.O.,The Kingston General Hospital
Canadian Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2012

Coronary artery disease (CAD) remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality and is a serious public health problem. Over the last 4 decades there have been dramatic advances in the both the prevention and treatment of CAD. The management of CAD was revolutionized by the development of effective surgical and percutaneous revascularization techniques. In this review we discuss the importance of the medical management of symptomatic, stable angina. Medical management approaches to both the treatment and prevention of symptomatic myocardial ischemia are summarized. In Canada, organic nitrates, β-adrenergic blocking agents, and calcium channel antagonists have been available for the therapy of angina for more than 25 years. All 3 classes are of proven benefit in the improvement of symptoms and exercise capacity in patients with stable angina. Although there is no clear first choice within these classes of anti-anginal agents, the presence of prior or concurrent conditions (for example, prior myocardial infarction and/or hypertension) plays an important role in the choice of anti-anginal class in individual patients. For some patients, combinations of different anti-anginal agents can be effective; however it is recommended that this approach be individualized. Although not currently available in Canada, other classes of anti-anginal agents have been developed; their mechanism of action and clinical efficacy is discussed. Patients with stable angina have an excellent prognosis. Patients in this category who obtain relief from symptomatic myocardial ischemia may do well without invasive intervention. © 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

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