Coronary artery disease (CAD) covers a wide spectrum from persons who are asymptomatic to those presenting with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and sudden cardiac death. Coronary atherosclerotic disease is a chronic, progressive process that leads to atherosclerotic plaque development and progression within the epicardial coronary arteries. Being a dynamic process, CAD generally presents with a prolonged stable phase, which may then suddenly become unstable and lead to an acute coronary event. Thus, the concept of “stable CAD” may be misleading, as the risk for acute events continues to exist, despite the use of pharmacological therapies and revascularization. Many advances in coronary care have been made, and guidelines from other international societies have been updated. The 2023 guidelines of the Taiwan Society of Cardiology for CAD introduce a new concept that categorizes the disease entity according to its clinical presentation into acute or chronic coronary syndromes (ACS and CCS, respectively). Previously defined as stable CAD, CCS include a heterogeneous population with or without chest pain, with or without prior ACS, and with or without previous coronary revascularization procedures. As cardiologists, we now face the complexity of CAD, which involves not only the epicardial but also the microcirculatory domains of the coronary circulation and the myocardium. New findings about the development and progression of coronary atherosclerosis have changed the clinical landscape. After a nearly 50-year ischemia-centric paradigm of coronary stenosis, growing evidence indicates that coronary atherosclerosis and its features are both diagnostic and therapeutic targets beyond obstructive CAD. Taken together, these factors have shifted the clinicians’ focus from the functional evaluation of coronary ischemia to the anatomic burden of disease. Research over the past decades has strengthened the case for prevention and optimal medical therapy as central interventions in patients with CCS. Even though functional capacity has clear prognostic implications, it does not include the evaluation of non-obstructive lesions, plaque burden or additional risk-modifying factors beyond epicardial coronary stenosis-driven ischemia. The recommended first-line diagnostic tests for CCS now include coronary computed tomographic angiography, an increasingly used anatomic imaging modality capable of detecting not only obstructive but also non-obstructive coronary plaques that may be missed with stress testing. This non-invasive anatomical modality improves risk assessment and potentially allows for the appropriate allocation of preventive therapies. Initial invasive strategies cannot improve mortality or the risk of myocardial infarction. Emphasis should be placed on optimizing the control of risk factors through preventive measures, and invasive strategies should be reserved for highly selected patients with refractory symptoms, high ischemic burden, high-risk anatomies, and hemodynamically significant lesions. These guidelines provide current evidence-based diagnosis and treatment recommendations. However, the guidelines are not mandatory, and members of the Task Force fully realize that the treatment of CCS should be individualized to address each patient’s circumstances. Ultimately, the decision of healthcare professionals is most important in clinical practice.
|Number of pages||93|
|Journal||Acta Cardiologica Sinica|
|Publication status||Published - 2023 Jan|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine