Document Detail

Role of coronary artery spasm in ischemic heart disease. Therapeutic implications.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  6335445     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The term coronary artery spasm should not be used interchangeably with the specific clinical syndrome "variant angina" since it does occur in other acute and chronic ischemic heart disease syndromes. The term coronary artery spasm should not be applied to patients with ischemic heart disease unless there is clinical, angiographic, and physiologic evidence of its presence. The diagnosis of coronary artery spasm is confirmed by angiography, i.e. change in caliber of the coronary arteries plus evidence of ischemia. Probable diagnosis is in patients who have the syndrome of variant angina, i.e. rest angina associated with ST segment elevation on the electrocardiogram. One can be highly suspicious that the spasm is at work in patients who have rest angina, especially those with unstable angina. One can be suspicious of patients who have variable effort angina or walk-through angina. Coronary artery spasm is a possibility in patients with an acute myocardial infarction or acute re-infarction and is also possible that sudden death in patients with normal coronary arteries can be related to coronary artery spasm. Coronary artery spasm is the usual cause of myocardial ischemia in patients with rest angina without effort angina. This has also commonly been documented in patients with rest and effort angina. There are isolated reports suggesting that patients with effort angina pectoris also develop coronary artery spasm. Coronary artery spasm has been documented to occur in association with acute myocardial infarction. Whether coronary artery spasm is the cause or the result of myocardial infarction has not been determined at this time. However, the recent combined use of intracoronary nitroglycerin and intracoronary streptokinase in patients with acute myocardial infarction has shown reversal of totally obstructed arteries and suggests the relationship between coronary artery disease, coronary artery spasm, and in situ coronary thrombosis. The incidence of sudden death in patients with documented coronary artery spasm is unknown. But, since complete heart block and/or ventricular tachycardia occur during episodes of coronary artery spasm, it is not unreasonable to assume that some patients have died as a result of these rhythm disturbances. The prognosis of patients with coronary artery spasm seems to depend on the presence or absence of severe coronary atherosclerosis, i.e. those with severe disease have a worse prognosis. Current therapy of patients with coronary artery spasm involves the use of nitrates and calcium antagonists.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
C R Conti
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Giornale italiano di cardiologia     Volume:  14     ISSN:  0046-5968     ISO Abbreviation:  G Ital Cardiol     Publication Date:  1984 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1985-04-05     Completed Date:  1985-04-05     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  1270331     Medline TA:  G Ital Cardiol     Country:  ITALY    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  901-10     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Angina Pectoris, Variant / diagnosis,  etiology
Coronary Artery Bypass
Coronary Circulation
Coronary Disease / complications,  etiology*,  surgery
Coronary Vasospasm / chemically induced,  complications*,  diagnosis,  therapy
Diagnosis, Differential
Myocardial Infarction / etiology
Physical Exertion
Reg. No./Substance:

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