chapter  4
22 Pages

Laboratory Techniques for Assessing the Presence and Magnitude of Mental Stress-lnduced Myocardial Ischemia in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease

In recent years, there has been growing interest in using medical technology to study the means by which mental stress may affect patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). The effects of mental stress on myocardial ischemia is an important element of this assessment for two reasons. First, as indicated by many studies, myocardial ischemia is an important predictor of cardiac outcome among patients with CAD (Landenheim et al., 1986; Rozanski, 1995b). As the magnitude of inducible myocardial ischemia increases during stress testing, the likelihood of future cardiac events increases in exponential fashion (Landenheim et al., 1986). Second, because myocardial ischemia can be easily provoked in CAD patients under laboratory conditions, it represents a practical approach for studying the potential pathophysiological effects of mental stress in a controlled fashion.