What is the prognosis of Wellens syndrome?

Updated: Jan 25, 2018
  • Author: Benjamin B Mattingly, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

The characteristic ECG pattern of Wellens syndrome is relatively common in patients who have symptoms consistent with unstable angina. Of patients admitted with unstable angina, this ECG pattern is present in 14-18%. [1, 5]

Wellens syndrome represents critical proximal LAD disease; accordingly, its natural progression leads to anterior wall MI. This progression is so likely that medical management alone is not enough to stop the natural process. Evolution to an anterior wall MI is rapid, with a mean time of 8.5 days from the onset of Wellens syndrome to infarction. [1]

If anterior wall MI occurs, there is the potential for substantial morbidity or mortality. Thus, it is of utmost importance to recognize this pattern early.


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