Ischemic heart disease is the most common serious health problem of contemporary society. In this country alone, more than 675,000 patients die each year from ischemic heart disease and its complications; approximately 1,300,000 patients have a myocardial infarction; and countless more suffer from congestive heart failure secondary to ischemic myocardial damage. Thus, ischemic heart disease and its complications are by far the most common cause of death in this country and, indeed, in the developed world. It is our purpose to review recent developments in three areas: the effects of ischemia on myocardial contractility; the recognition and quantification of ischemic.
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