The angiogram revealed that patients with ST-segment depression had more left main, proximal left anterior descending, and 3-vessel coronary artery disease and underwent coronary artery bypass grafting most often. In contrast, patients with transient ST-segment elevation had 1-vessel CAD and underwent percutaneous coronary intervention the most. The unadjusted mortality was highest in the ST-segment depression group, followed by the no ischemic changes, transient ST-segment elevation, and T-wave inversion group. Adjusted mortality using the ACTION Registry-GWTG in-hospital mortality model with the no ischemic changes group as the reference showed that in-hospital mortality was similar in the transient ST-segment elevation (odds ratio 1.15, 95% confidence interval 0.97 to 1.37; p = 0.10), higher in the ST-segment depression group (odds ratio 1.46, 95% confidence interval 1.37 to 1.54; p less than 0.0001), and lower in the T-wave inversion group (odds ratio 0.91, 95% confidence interval 0.83 to 0.99; p = 0.026). In conclusion, the clinical and angiographic characteristics and treatment and outcomes of patients with NSTEMI differed substantially according to the presenting ECG findings. Patients with ST-segment depression have a greater burden of co-morbidities and coronary atherosclerosis and have a greater risk of adjusted in-hospital mortality compared with the other groups.
Of note, a subset of this “NSTEMI” population actually had transient ST elevation further highlighting the confusion around the distinction of STEMI versus NSTEMI.