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Long lasting spasticity in controlled vasospastic angina


OBJECTIVE To evaluate changes in coronary artery spasticity in patients with vasospastic angina who had been stable for years under continuous drug treatment.

METHODS Follow up coronary angiography was performed under intracoronary ergonovine provocation in 27 well controlled patients with vasospastic angina and no organic stenosis; the tests were done > 24 months after the initial coronary angiography, in which occlusive spasm had been induced by the same regimen of ergonovine provocation.

RESULTS The mean (SD) follow up period was 47.2 (21.6) months. All patients had been free from angina attack for more than 24 months under treatment with antianginal drugs. During this follow up period, organic stenosis developed in only one case. Occlusive spasm was observed during follow up coronary angiography in 23 patients. Spasm with 90% narrowing was observed in three other patients, and diffuse significant narrowing was seen in the final patient. No significant difference was found in spasticity (p = 0.75) between the initial and the follow up tests.

CONCLUSIONS Repeated ergonovine provocation during coronary angiography after a controlled period of several years showed that coronary spasm remains inducible in most patients. Discontinuance of drug treatment during the remission from anginal attacks achieved by medication may put the patient at high risk.

  • vasospastic angina
  • ergonovine
  • angiography

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