alexa Role of coronary artery spasm in progression of organic coronary stenosis and acute myocardial infarction in a swine model-importance of mode of onset and duration of coronary artery spasm
Clinical Sciences

Clinical Sciences

Cardiovascular Pharmacology: Open Access

Author(s): Kuga T, Tagawa H, Tomoike H, Nakamura M, Ohara Y

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Coronary spasm may play an important role in progression of organic coronary stenosis and myocardial infarction, but the mechanisms responsible for these complications are not known. This study aimed to examine whether the mode of onset and the duration of coronary spasm influenced progression of organic coronary stenosis and acute myocardial infarction in a swine model of coronary spasm.


Göttingen miniature pigs were subjected to cholesterol feeding, balloon-induced coronary arterial denudation, and x-ray irradiation. Five months later, coronary spasm was induced by intracoronary injection of serotonin. In 10 pigs, coronary spasm was provoked abruptly and maintained for 25 minutes by five repeated intracoronary injections of serotonin (10 micrograms/kg) every 5 minutes (group A, abrupt onset and short duration). In group B, coronary spasm was provoked gradually by intracoronary injections of serotonin at graded doses of 0.1, 0.3, and 0.6 microgram/kg every 5 minutes and was then maintained for 25 minutes in four pigs (group B1, gradual onset and short duration) and for 120 minutes in six pigs (group B2, gradual onset and long duration) by repeated intracoronary injections of serotonin (10 micrograms/kg) every 5 minutes. Intramural hemorrhage was noted histologically at the spastic site more frequently in group A with abrupt onset (nine of 10 pigs) than in group B with gradual onset (two of 10 pigs) (p < 0.01). Progression of organic coronary stenosis due to intramural hemorrhage was noted in seven pigs (six pigs in group A and one pig in group B), including three cases of total coronary occlusion. Evidence for the evolution of acute myocardial infarction (serial ECG findings, left ventriculograms, and histological findings) was noted in one pig (7%) of group A or B1 with short duration and in five of six pigs (83%) in group B2 with long duration (p < 0.01 versus group A and B1).


These results indicate that: 1) intramural hemorrhage was frequently induced by coronary spasm of abrupt but not of gradual onset, 2) intramural hemorrhage resulted in acute progression of coronary stenosis and sometimes resulted in persistent total coronary occlusion leading to acute myocardial infarction, and 3) prolonged coronary spasm resulted in acute myocardial infarction without progression of organic coronary stenosis.

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This article was published in Circulation and referenced in Cardiovascular Pharmacology: Open Access

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