Coronary artery spasm during exercise: treatment with verapamil.
Six patients who had documented coronary spasm and no coronary artery with organic obstruction greater than 50% developed angina and ST-segment elevation on exercise testing. Oral verapamil, 160-480 mg/day, prevented exercise-induced ischemia in all patients and increased maximal work capacity from 611+/- 250 kpm to 808 +/- 160 kpm (p less than 0.02). In two patients, a relationship between the prevention of exercise-provoked ischemia and the plasma concentration of verapamil was demonstrated, and in one of these, the relationship had a diurnal pattern. Patients with variant angina may develop coronary spasm on effort and often respond to verapamil.
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