Author(s): BottSilverman C, Heupler FA Jr
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Abstract The clinical course of 59 patients with coronary artery spasm and no fixed severe coronary obstruction was analyzed for an average of 5.9 years. The study group consisted of 27 men and 32 women. Angina at rest was the predominant symptom in 93\% of the patients. Myocardial infarction occurred in 19\% and syncope during angina in 27\%. During spontaneous anginal episodes, 64\% of the patients showed ST segment elevation, 17\% ST segment depression and 15\% no electrocardiographic changes. Major arrhythmias during angina occurred in 24\% of the patients. Permanent pacemakers were required in 10\% of the patients. Stress tests were positive in 32\% of the patients. Long-acting nitrate therapy controlled symptoms in only 31\%, and calcium antagonist agents controlled symptoms in 83\% of the patients unresponsive to nitrates. Spontaneous remission of angina for at least 1 month while receiving no medical treatment occurred in 39\% of the patients. Fifteen percent of patients had an indefinite remission with no recurrence of symptoms for at least 2 years. There were no cardiac deaths. The natural history of medically treated patients with pure coronary spasm is characterized by recurrent angina at rest, frequent spontaneous remission, a poor response to long-acting nitrate therapy and a good response to calcium antagonists. Although myocardial infarction and major arrhythmias are common, cardiac mortality is low in medically treated patients.
This article was published in J Am Coll Cardiol
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research