Inappropriate constriction of small coronary vessels as a possible cause of a positive exercise test early after successful coronary angioplasty.
BACKGROUND The mechanism responsible for exercise-induced myocardial ischemia early after successful coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is poorly understood.
METHODS AND RESULTS Twelve patients who underwent one-vessel PTCA were studied. Exercise testing was performed before and on day 7 after PTCA, which was repeated after 10 mg sublingual isosorbide dinitrate if the test was positive. Quantitative coronary arteriography was also performed on day 8 after PTCA in the basal state, after intracoronary infusion of 0.9% saline, 1, 5, 10, and 20 micrograms ergonovine, and after 300 micrograms nitroglycerin. All patients had a positive exercise test before PTCA but on day 7, six patients had a positive exercise test (group 1) and six patients (group 2) had a negative exercise test. In group 1, all positive exercise tests on day 7 became negative when repeated after isosorbide dinitrate. Intracoronary ergonovine was associated with a dose-dependent constriction of the PTCA segment, a segment distal to it, and a control segment, with no significant difference in the magnitude of the response between the two groups; maximum constriction for group 1 was 19 +/- 3%, 23 +/- 2%, and 16 +/- 3% (p less than 0.001 versus basal), and in group 2 was 20 +/- 4%, 18 +/- 4%, and 9 +/- 2% (p less than 0.01 versus basal). No angina, ischemic ST segment changes, occlusive, or subocclusive spasm occurred in any patient of either group.
CONCLUSIONS We could find no evidence that exercise-induced myocardial ischemia early after PTCA is related to the presence of fixed angiographic restenosis or to dynamic constriction of any epicardial coronary segment. Therefore, inappropriate small coronary vessel constriction responsive to nitrates should be considered as a possible alternative explanation.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association