Author(s): Beltrame JF
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to assess the angiographic and clinical benefits of the calcium T-channel blocker, mibefradil, in the coronary slow flow phenomenon (CSFP).
BACKGROUND: The CSFP is characterized by delayed vessel opacification on angiography (Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction [TIMI]-2 flow) in the absence of obstructive epicardial coronary disease and is often associated with recurrent chest pain.
METHODS: A total of 10 CSFP patients (46 +/- 9 years) underwent angiography before and 30 min after 50 mg mibefradil; off-line blinded analysis of angiographic data included comparisons of epicardial vessel diameter, TIMI flow grade and TIMI frame count. We also performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study to examine the long-term efficacy of mibefradil 100 mg/day on the frequency of total angina, prolonged angina (i.e., persisting >20 min) episodes, and sublingual nitrate consumption, during consecutive one-month treatment periods in 20 patients (age 51 +/- 12 years) with the CSFP.
RESULTS: Without changing epicardial vessel diameter or rate-pressure product, mibefradil reduced the number of vessels exhibiting TIMI-2 flow from 18 to 5; furthermore, mibefradil significantly improved the TIMI frame count only in those vessels exhibiting TIMI-2 flow (28 +/- 18%, p < 0.005). Compared with placebo, mibefradil significantly reduced total angina frequency by 56% (p < 0.001), prolonged episodes of angina by 74% (p < 0.001), and sublingual nitrate consumption by 59% (p < 0.01); furthermore, mibefradil improved physical quality of life as assessed by the Health Outcome Study Short Form-36.
CONCLUSIONS: These angiographic and clinical improvements produced by mibefradil support a microspastic pathogenesis of the CSFP.Angiology: Open Access