Chronic stable angina laboratory findings

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Phone:617-632-7753; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]; Smita Kohli, M.D.; Lakshmi Gopalakrishnan, M.B.B.S. [3]


In patients with chronic stable angina, initial laboratory investigations are used to: identify potential causes of ischemia, establish risk factors, and determine the overall prognosis for the patient. An initial laboratory test can provide a wide variety of clinical information. For instance, low hemoglobin levels can cause ischemia. Therefore, assessing hemoglobin as a part of complete blood count provides prognostic information.[1] Biomarkers, such as troponin and CK-MB, are used to exclude myocardial injury. In assessment for risk factor stratification, all patients with ischemic heart disease are recommended to have a a standard round of blood work conducted including fasting plasma glucose levels and a complete lipid profile. Serum creatinine[2] is used to assess renal dysfunction[3] due to associated hypertension or diabetes and remains a negative prognostic factor. In patients with chronic stable angina, an elevation in fasting glucose[4] independently predicts the adverse outcome. Recent research on NT-pro-BNP has demonstrated the ability to predict long-term mortality in patients with chronic stable angina independent of age, ventricular ejection fraction and other risk factors.[5]

Initial Laboratory Findings

  • Routine hematologic tests are necessary to exclude significant anemia.[1]
  • Homocysteinemia has been found to be a risk factor for coronary artery disease.[9] Folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 can lower the homocysteine level. Although the therapeutic implications of lowering homocysteine levels have not been fully defined, homocysteine concentrations should be measured in patients with a strong family history of coronary disease, especially if it is not explained by traditional risk factors.

ACC/AHA/ACP–ASIM Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Chronic Stable Angina (DO NOT EDIT)[10]

Initial Laboratory Tests for Diagnosis (DO NOT EDIT)[10]

Class I
"1. Hemoglobin. (Level of Evidence: C)"
"2. Fasting glucose. (Level of Evidence: C)
"3. Fasting lipid panel, including total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and calculated LDL cholesterol. (Level of Evidence: C)

ESC Guidelines- Laboratory Investigation in Initial Assessment of Stable Angina (DO NOT EDIT)[11]

Class I (in all patients)
"1. Fasting lipid profile, including total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. (Level of Evidence: B)"
"1. Fasting glucose. (Level of Evidence: B)"
"1. Full blood count including Hemoglobin and white cell count. (Level of Evidence: B)"
"1. Creatinine. (Level of Evidence: C)"
Class I (if specifically indicated on the basis of clinical evaluation)
"1. Markers of myocardial damage if evaluation suggests clinical instability or ACS. (Level of Evidence: A)"
"2. Thyroid function if clinically indicated. (Level of Evidence: C)"
Class IIa
"1. Oral glucose tolerance test. (Level of Evidence: B)"
Class IIb
"1. Hs-C-reactive protein. (Level of Evidence: B)"
"2. Lipoprotein a, ApoA, and ApoB . (Level of Evidence: B)"
"3. Homocysteine. (Level of Evidence: B)"
"4. HbA1c. (Level of Evidence: B)"
"5. NT-BNP. (Level of Evidence: B)"

ESC Guidelines- Blood Tests for Routine Reassessment in Patients with Chronic Stable Angina (DO NOT EDIT)[11]

Class IIa
"1. Fasting lipid profile and fasting glucose on an annual basis. (Level of Evidence: C)"


  1. 1.0 1.1 Horne BD, Anderson JL, John JM, Weaver A, Bair TL, Jensen KR et al. (2005) Which white blood cell subtypes predict increased cardiovascular risk? J Am Coll Cardiol 45 (10):1638-43. DOI:10.1016/j.jacc.2005.02.054 PMID: 15893180
  2. Shlipak MG, Stehman-Breen C, Vittinghoff E, Lin F, Varosy PD, Wenger NK et al. (2004) Creatinine levels and cardiovascular events in women with heart disease: do small changes matter? Am J Kidney Dis 43 (1):37-44. PMID: 14712425
  3. Fried LF, Shlipak MG, Crump C, Bleyer AJ, Gottdiener JS, Kronmal RA et al. (2003) Renal insufficiency as a predictor of cardiovascular outcomes and mortality in elderly individuals. J Am Coll Cardiol 41 (8):1364-72. PMID: 12706933
  4. Arcavi L, Behar S, Caspi A, Reshef N, Boyko V, Knobler H (2004) High fasting glucose levels as a predictor of worse clinical outcome in patients with coronary artery disease: results from the Bezafibrate Infarction Prevention (BIP) study. Am Heart J 147 (2):239-45. DOI:10.1016/j.ahj.2003.09.013 PMID: 14760320
  5. Kragelund C, Grønning B, Køber L, Hildebrandt P, Steffensen R (2005) N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide and long-term mortality in stable coronary heart disease. N Engl J Med 352 (7):666-75. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa042330 PMID: 15716560
  6. Rosengren A, Dotevall A, Eriksson H, Wilhelmsen L (2001) Optimal risk factors in the population: prognosis, prevalence, and secular trends; data from Göteborg population studies. Eur Heart J 22 (2):136-44. DOI:10.1053/euhj.2000.2179 PMID: 11161915
  7. Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Solomon CG, Liu S, Willett WC, Speizer FE et al. (2001) The impact of diabetes mellitus on mortality from all causes and coronary heart disease in women: 20 years of follow-up. Arch Intern Med 161 (14):1717-23. PMID: 11485504
  8. Khaw KT, Wareham N, Luben R, Bingham S, Oakes S, Welch A et al. (2001) Glycated haemoglobin, diabetes, and mortality in men in Norfolk cohort of european prospective investigation of cancer and nutrition (EPIC-Norfolk). BMJ 322 (7277):15-8. PMID: 11141143
  9. Nygård O, Nordrehaug JE, Refsum H, Ueland PM, Farstad M, Vollset SE (1997) Plasma homocysteine levels and mortality in patients with coronary artery disease. N Engl J Med 337 (4):230-6. DOI:10.1056/NEJM199707243370403 PMID: 9227928
  10. 10.0 10.1 Gibbons RJ, Chatterjee K, Daley J, Douglas JS, Fihn SD, Gardin JM; et al. (1999). "ACC/AHA/ACP-ASIM guidelines for the management of patients with chronic stable angina: executive summary and recommendations. A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Committee on Management of Patients with Chronic Stable Angina)". Circulation. 99 (21): 2829–48. PMID 10351980.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Fox K, Garcia MA, Ardissino D, Buszman P, Camici PG, Crea F; et al. (2006). "Guidelines on the management of stable angina pectoris: executive summary: The Task Force on the Management of Stable Angina Pectoris of the European Society of Cardiology". Eur Heart J. 27 (11): 1341–81. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehl001. PMID 16735367.

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