Author + information
- Received May 26, 1995
- Revision received August 14, 1995
- Accepted August 17, 1995
- Published online January 1, 1996.
- Ken Okumura, MD**,
- Hirofumi Yasue, MD,
- Kozaburo Matsuyama, MD,
- Hisao Ogawa, MD,
- Kiyotaka Kugiyama, MD,
- Hiroshi Ishizaka, MD,
- Hitoshi Sumida, MD,
- Hiromi Fujii, MD,
- Toshiro Matsunaga, MD and
- Ryusuke Tsunoda, MD
- ↵**Address for correspondence: Dr. Ken Okumura, Division of Cardiology, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Honjo 1-1-1, Kumamoto 860, Japan.
Objectives. We examined the vasomotility of the entire epicardial coronary artery system in patients with and without coronary spastic angina.
Background. The coronary arteries of patients with variant angina are hyperreactive to diverse constrictor stimuli. It is unclear whether the abnormal responses to constrictive or dilative stimuli, or both, result from a localized or diffuse disorder in the coronary artery tree.
Methods. Coronary artery diameter responses to intracoronary acetylcholine and nitroglycerin were examined at the proximal, middle and distal segments of three principal coronary arteries in 36 patients with coronary spastic angina without significant stenosis and in 12 young (≤30 years old) and 20 older control subjects (>30 years old) with normal coronary arteriographic findings. In 10 patients with significant coronary stenosis, the responses of the prestenotic segments were also examined.
Results. In patients with coronary spastic angina, coronary spasm was induced in 23 left anterior descending, 13 left circumflex and 17 right coronary arteries by acetylcholine. Multivessel spasm was observed in 15 patients. Acetylcholine had a dilator effect on most segments in young control subjects and a mild constrictor effect in older control subjects and in patients with significant stenosis. Comparison of the responses to acetylcholine among groups demonstrated that the constrictor response of the artery with spasm was enhanced significantly and diffusely. That of the artery without spasm also tended to be enhanced. Coronary artery diameters after nitroglycerin did not differ in any segment among patients with coronary spastic angina and both control groups. In patients with coronary spastic angina, nitroglycerin significantly enhanced dilation in all segments of the artery with spasm compared with that observed in both control groups and in most segments of the artery without spasm. Patients with significant coronary stenosis had a reduced response compared with that in control subjects.
Conclusions. Hyperreactive responses not only to the constrictor effects of acetylcholine, but also the dilator effects of nitroglycerin were detected diffusely in the epicardial coronary arteries of patients with coronary spastic angina. This finding indicates that a diffuse, not localized, disorder in vasomotility is involved in the pathogenesis of coronary spastic angina.
This study was supported in part by Grant-in-Aid B03454257, 03268107 for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Tokyo, Japan.
- Received May 26, 1995.
- Revision received August 14, 1995.
- Accepted August 17, 1995.
- American College of Cardiology