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Circulation. 1981 Apr;63(4):817-25.

Reduced coronary dilatory capacity and ultrastructural changes of the myocardium in patients with angina pectoris but normal coronary arteriograms.


Hemodynamic and metabolic studies were performed in 15 patients without heart disease (controls, group A), in 21 patients with typical stress-induced anginal pain but normal coronary and left ventricular angiograms (angina pectoris with normal arteriogram, group B), and in 10 patients with angiographically proved coronary artery disease (CAD, group C). Coronary dilatory capacity, determined by measuring total myocardial blood flow at rest and during maximal coronary vasodilatation (dipyridamole, 0.5 mg/kg i.v.), was markedly reduced in group B and C patients. In group B patients, left ventricular catheter biopsy specimens revealed no evidence of small-vessel disease, but did show histologic alterations of mitochondria. During atrial pacing, the control subjects showed no changes in myocardial lactate uptake, whereas in group B patients, myocardial lactate production occurred. In contrast to controls, patients in group B showed a significant decline in ejection fraction and circumferential fiber shortening during isometric exercise. These findings suggest that myocardial ischemia is the cause of angina pectoris in patients who have angina but normal coronary arteriograms.

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