Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty in patients with variant angina.
Among the first 83 patients treated with percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) at our institution, typical variant angina was recognized beforehand in five cases and was discovered within 4 months of PTCA in six others. All patients had a 65-95% proximal left anterior descending coronary artery stenosis and only one had a coronary lesion greater than 50% in other coronary arteries. Before PTCA, all patients were premedicated with calcium-antagonist drugs. Thirteen of 15 PTCAs, including three of four repeat PTCAs, were technically successful. However, variant angina recurred after successful PTCA in three of the five patients in whom it was documented beforehand and in an additional two of two patients with variant angina before a successful repeat PTCA. Overall, among the nine patients with variant angina after successful PTCA, five had restenosis at the site of PTCA and two others developed severe lesions adjacent to the site of PTCA within 4 months of the procedure. The three patients without restenosis have been treated with calcium-antagonist drugs from soon after PTCA and have remained angina-free. These results suggest that PTCA is technically feasible in patients with variant angina who have organic lesions, but symptoms due to coronary spasm usually persist or recur, often with restenosis.
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