Acute myocardial infarction was precipitated by hyperventilation in a 65 year old man. His coronary arteriogram in the chronic phase showed almost normal coronary arteries. Injection of acetylcholine (50 micrograms) into the left coronary artery induced spasm of the circumflex artery with chest pain in association with ST-segment elevation in the inferior leads and ST-segment depression in the precordial leads. In this patient there may have been atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries with absent or dysfunctional endothelium, despite an almost normal angiographic appearance. In the absence of endothelium the response of the smooth muscle to acetylcholine is constriction.
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