Chest symptoms following coronary stenting in the first 10 weeks of recovery

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Journal Article
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 2008, 7 (1), pp. 73 - 79
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Background Most patients experience the benefits of PTCA and stent quickly, with reduction in symptoms and improvement in functional status, however many patients experience chest symptoms post-procedure. Objective To describe the pattern and characteristics of post-stent chest symptoms in cardiac rehabilitation participants. Methods A prospective descriptive study assessing the pattern and presence of chest symptoms in coronary artery stent recipients (N = 129) four and ten weeks post-procedure. Patients were interviewed at cardiac rehabilitation or by the phone using a specifically developed questionnaire which incorporated the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Results Most participants were male, aged on average 60.5 years and received two stents, most often drug eluting. Post-stent chest symptoms were common, experienced by two thirds of patients (68%) at some time during the 10 weeks post-discharge. Chest symptoms were recurrent, with 33% having symptoms on both occasions and occurred more often in younger patients (p < .00). Patients described their symptoms as discomforting and used the descriptors dull, tight, sharp, pressing and flickering. Chest symptoms tended to be brief and/or intermittent (65%) lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes (63%). Most patients felt their symptoms were related to their stent (75%) and were unsure what to do. A small number (5%) interpreted their symptoms as ischaemic and presented to the hospital (4%).
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