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Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2011 Aug 1;78(2):223-7. doi: 10.1002/ccd.22904. Epub 2011 Mar 16.

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection after intense weightlifting UCSF Fresno Department of Cardiology.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, UCSF Fresno, Fresno, California 93701, USA.


Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a rare cause of chest pain and cardiomyopathy. This phenomenon usually occurs during the peripartum period. SCAD associated with exercise and heavy weight lifting is even rarer and has been reported in less than 10 cases in the literature. We describe a case of SCAD associated with heavy weight lifting and exercise in a 29-year-old male who presented with exertional chest pain. The patient subsequently underwent a cardiac catheterization that showed a left ventricular ejection fraction of 40% and a dissection in the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery after the first diagonal/septal branch with extension to the distal LAD that wrapped around the apex. He was effectively managed with the combination of medical therapy followed by a few days later with stenting. In summary, diagnosis and treatment of this rare phenomenon is a challenge, but early diagnosis and appropriate management can lead to a successful outcome.

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