Local coronary supersensitivity to diverse vasoconstrictive stimuli in patients with variant angina.
It has been shown in different groups of patients with variant angina that coronary spasm can be reproduced by physiologic maneuvers and pharmacologic agents. It is not known, however, to what extent different stimuli can induce spasm in the same patient. To investigate whether coronary arterial spasm results from specific abnormal agonist-receptor interactions or from a local nonspecific coronary supersensitivity to different stimuli, 28 patients with vasospastic angina were submitted to a series of diverse vasoconstrictive stimuli known to provoke coronary spasm. Ergonovine, hyperventilation, handgrip, cold pressor, and exercise-tests, were carried out in all 28 patients. In the last 15 patients histamine was also administered. Spasm was provoked by ergonovine in 96% of patients, by hyperventilation in 54%, by histamine in 47%, by exercise in 46%, and by the cold pressor and handgrip tests in 11% and 7%, respectively. No significant differences were found in the responses to provocative tests of patients with normal coronary arteries or nonsignificant stenoses and those with significant lesions. In the same individual, spasm was induced by at least two vasoconstrictive stimuli, although with a different mechanism of action, in 82% of patients and spasm was induced by three or more stimuli in 39%. Tests were repeated in at least 23 patients and short-term reproducibility paralleled sensitivity. These results suggest that in patients with variant angina, a local nonspecific supersensitivity rather than an abnormal specific agonist-receptor interaction plays a major role in the genesis of coronary arterial spasm.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association