PROLONGED MULTIPLE SPASMS OF SMOOTH CORONARY ARTERIES PRESENTING AS ACUTE MIOCARDIAL INFARCTION, COMPLETE AV BLOCK AND SYNCOPE
Background. A variant form of angina pectoris (VAP) is caused by coronary vessel spasm and occures in patients with and without varying degrees of obstructive coronary artery disease. Although the prognosis of VAP without significant organic stenosis is generally good, multivessel spasm is associated with a high risk of life-threatening abnormalities of rhythm and conduction.
Patient and methods. We describe a patient who presented with prolonged chest pain, associated with hypotension, lost of consciousness, complete AV block and widespread ST segment elevations consistent with inferoanterior acute myocardial infarction. Urgent selective coronary angiography revealed spasms in right coronary artery and in left circumflex artery that were relieved by intracoronary injection of nitroglycerin. All coronary arteries were otherwise patient, without signs of atherosclerosis. The patient was treated with diltiazem and nitrates. She made a complete recovery and resumed her normal activities.
Conclusions. Simultaneous multiple spasms of native coronary arteries represent a rare syndrome characterized by significantly higher incidence of potentially life-threatening arrhythmia. Less commonly, prolonged coronary spasm may mimic acute myocardial infarction. Modern management of acute coronary syndromes, including urgent coronarography, enables a prompt differentiation between prolonged coronary spasm and atherosclerotic coronary disease, warranting different treatment strategies. Medical treatment with nitrates and calcium channel blockers in most cases prevents recurrence of vasospasms and arrhythmias.
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