From chest pain to coronary functional testing: Clinical and economic impact of coronary microvascular dysfunction

Ilan Merdler, Ryan Wallace, Andrew P. Hill, Kalyan R. Chitturi, Giorgio A. Medranda, Pavan Reddy, Cheng Zhang, Sevket Tolga Ozturk, Vaishnavi Sawant, William S. Weintraub, Kassandra Lopez, Itsik Ben-Dor, Ron Waksman, Hayder D. Hashim, Brian C. Case

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Coronary functional testing to formally diagnose coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD) reduces cardiovascular events and alleviates angina. This study aims to investigate the extensive and complex journey that patients with CMD undergo, from the onset of chest pain to eventual diagnosis. Methods: Data from the Coronary Microvascular Disease Registry (CMDR) were analyzed, including information on the date of first documentation of chest pain, number of non-invasive and invasive tests the patient underwent, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations. In addition, we estimated the total cost per patient. A total of 61 patients with CMD diagnosis were included in this analysis. Results: Most patients in our cohort were older than 50 years of age. The median time from initial chest pain symptoms to diagnosis was 0.62 (interquartile range [IQR]: 0.06–2.96) years. During this period, patients visited the emergency department a median of 1.0 (IQR: 0.0–2.0) times. Diagnostic tests included 3.0 (IQR: 2.0–6.0) electrocardiograms, 3.0 (IQR: 0.0–6.0) high-sensitivity troponin tests, and 1.0 (IQR: 1.0–2.0) echocardiograms. Prior to diagnosis of CMD, 13 (21.3 %) patients had left heart catheterization without coronary functional testing. Non-invasive testing for ischemia was conducted in 43 (70.5 %) patients. Alternative non-cardiac diagnoses were given to 11 (18.0 %) patients during the diagnostic process, with referrals made to gastroenterology for 16 (26.2 %) and pulmonology for 10 (16.4 %) patients. The cost was almost $2000/patient. Conclusion: Timely identification of CMD offers promising opportunities for prompt symptom alleviation, accompanied by reduced visits to the emergency department, cardiovascular testing, invasive medical procedures, and consequently reduced healthcare expenses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCardiovascular Revascularization Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Chest pain
  • Coronary microvascular dysfunction
  • Hemodynamic assessment
  • Ischemia with nonobstructive coronary arteries
  • Stable angina


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