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Coronary Artery Status of Apparently Healthy Subjects with Frequent and Complex Ventricular Ectopy

HAROLD L. KENNEDY, M.D., M.P.H.; JANET E. PESCARMONA, B.A.; RICHARD J. BOUCHARD, M.D.; and ROBERT J. GOLDBERG, Ph.D.
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This paper was presented in part at the 27th Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology, Anaheim, California, 9 March 1978, and was the recipient of the U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Society 1979 J. D. Lane Award at the 14th Annual Meeting of the U.S. Public Health Service Professional Association, Phoenix, Arizona, 17 April 1979.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Harold L. Kennedy, M.D.; Department of Cardiovascular Services and Clinical Investigations, U.S. Public Health Service Hospital, 3100 Wyman Park Drive; Baltimore, MD 21211.


Baltimore, Maryland


© 1980 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1980;92(2_Part_1):179-185. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-92-2-179
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Twenty-five subjects from a cohort of 62 asymptomatic, apparently healthy subjects incidentally discovered to have frequent and complex ventricular ectopy were studied with cardiac catheterization and coronary angiography. Fourteen had normal coronary arteries, five noncritical coronary artery disease (< 50% luminal narrowing), and six significant coronary artery disease (≥ 50% luminal narrowing). Slightly elevated left ventricular end diastolic pressures were found in all subject subgroups. Characteristics of the ventricular ectopy detected by maximal exercise testing or 24-hour Holter ambulatory electrocardiography did not differentiate those subjects with coronary artery disease from those with normal coronary arteries. This study documents that a minority of apparently healthy subjects with frequent and complex ventricular arrhythmia have significant coronary artery disease and supports a conservative approach to the management of such patients.

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