Volume 24p21-5 (1987)
In a prospective study of 87 patients with TIA or minor stroke (48 men and 39 women, average age 65 years) a history of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) was present in 30 (angina in 25 and myocardial infarction (MI) in 19, 14 having both). The London School of Hygiene Questionnaire did not confirm the diagnosis of IHD in 7 patients, but did detect a further 5 patients with angina and/or MI. The Minnesota coding of the ECG revealed 5 patients with asymptomatic suspect IHD and 15 with probable IHD (a total of 23%). Cardiomegaly (cardiothoracic ratio greater than 0.5) was present in 28 patients, 9 with a history of MI and 8 with a history of angina. These findings indicate that IHD is common in patients with cerebral vascular disease. As both probable IHD on Minnesota coding of the ECG and the presence of cardiomegaly are highly predictive of a poorer outcome, the findings add further weight to the argument that, amongst patients with minor cerebral ischaemia, a sub-group at high risk of death due to IHD can be detected by using simple methods rather than by performing routine coronary angiography on all patients as has been suggested in recent times.
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