Induction of coronary artery spasm by a direct local action of ergonovine.
To investigate whether ergonovine acts directly on coronary arteries or via remote neurohumoral reflexes, we administered small titrated increments of intracoronary ergonovine up to a maximum cumulative dose of 50 micrograms to 15 patients. In six patients with variant angina (group 1), ischemic electrocardiographic ST changes, angina, and localized coronary spasm (local coronary diameter reduction of 87.8 +/- 18.9% [mean +/- SD]) followed after 6 to 50 micrograms (mean 20.7) cumulative intracoronary ergonovine. In nine patients with atypical chest pain, normal baseline coronary arteriograms, and no evidence of variant angina (group 2), there was no ischemic ST segment change or localized coronary spasm after 6 to 50 micrograms (mean 31.6) intracoronary ergonovine. Coronary diameter of proximal vessels of patients in group 2 was reduced by 16.2 +/- 6.5% and did not differ from the response of nonspastic vessels of comparable size of group 1 (20.5 +/- 13.8%; p = .7). There was no significant difference in the median effective dose values in the dose-response curves of the spastic and nonspastic segments between groups 1 and 2. Ergonovine causes coronary spasm by a direct local effect, which seems to be caused by localized arterial hyperreactivity rather than supersensitivity. Intracoronary delivery may be safer than intravenous administration because negligible drug recirculation may prevent perpetuation of spasm and selective coronary administration can avoid branches with critical stenoses.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association