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Coronary artery spasm induced by carotid sinus massage
  1. M Nishizaki,
  2. N Yamawake,
  3. M Arita
  1. Department of Cardiology, Yokohama Minami Kyosai Hospital, 500 Mutsuura, Kanazawaku, Yokohama Kanagawa, 236–0032, Japan
  1. Dr Nishizaki email:nisizaki{at}


A 60 year old man with a history of frequent episodes of chest pain and dizziness was referred for evaluation of coronary artery disease. He had no significant coronary artery stenosis at baseline coronary angiography. A carotid sinus massage was performed for evaluation of carotid sinus hypersensitivity in the patient. Both heart rate and blood pressure decreased a little, and returned to baseline level immediately after carotid sinus massage. However, 2.5 minutes after carotid sinus massage, ECG showed ST segment elevation in leads II, III, and aVF. Four minutes after carotid sinus massage, he had chest pain with a progressive elevation in the ST segment in the same leads, when he had 99% focal spasm in the right coronary artery. The vasospasm induced by carotid sinus massage was reproducible over several minutes and resolved spontaneously. Coronary artery spasm may be provoked by the enhanced vagal activation due to carotid sinus massage.

  • coronary vasospasm
  • vasospastic angina
  • coronary artery spasm
  • carotid sinus massage

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