The present study determined the white blood cell (WBC) count and the serum C-reactive protein (CRP) level in 27 patients with coronary spastic angina, 16 with Braunwald class IB unstable angina (UA) and 13 with Braunwald class IIIB. The relationship between the clinical presentation of UA and the requirement for emergency percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) was examined, and in patients with medically refractory angina, the determining factor among the clinical manifestations of angina was also investigated. In the acute phase, the WBC count and the serum CRP level were significantly higher in patients with Braunwald class IIIB than in those with coronary spastic angina or Braunwald class IB UA (p<0.001). In the Braunwald class IIIB group, a significantly higher rate of patients required emergency PTCA than that of the coronary spastic angina group (p<0.01). Patients with medically refractory angina had a significantly higher WBC count and higher serum CRP level on admission, and the WBC count on admission was independently associated with medically refractory angina by multivariate analysis (p<0.05). Inflammation may play a major pathological role in the rapid development of acute coronary syndrome.
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