Author(s): Togashi I, Soejima K, Miyoshi S, Ogawa S, Sato T
Background Patients with coronary spasm generally have a good prognosis, although it can result in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and syncope. We hypothesized that the nature of coronary spasm triggering lethal arrhythmias may be different from that which induces angina-only. Methods Clinical characteristics were examined in patients who had experienced SCA (n = 18) or syncope (n = 28) triggered by coronary spasm. These characteristics were compared to those of patients who had coronary spastic angina-only (n = 52). Results SCA and syncope occurred frequently during daytime in 57% and 68%, respectively. Spontaneous ST-segment changes during daytime were recorded more often in patients with SCA (50%) and syncope (39%) than angina-only patients (4%, p < 0.01 for each). Nocturnal angina occurred less frequently in patients with SCA (33%) and syncope (32%) than angina-only patients (83%, p < 0.01 for each). Severe multivessel spasm, daytime ST-segment changes, and younger age were significant predictors of SCA. Daytime ST-segment changes and active smoking were related to syncope. Conclusions The circadian variance of coronary spasm triggering SCA or syncope may be different from that inducing typical coronary spastic angina. The coronary spasm should be evaluated for patients with aborted SCA or recurrent syncope of unknown cause, even though the patients have not experienced the typical nocturnal angina.