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Cureus. 2019 Apr 22;11(4):e4522. doi: 10.7759/cureus.4522.

A Curious Case of Coronary Vasospasm with Cardiogenic Shock: Type 1 Kounis Syndrome Complicated by Eosinophilic Myocarditis.

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Cardiology, John H Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, USA.
Internal Medicine, John H Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, USA.
Cardiology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, USA.


Kounis syndrome is a rare but life-threatening form of coronary vasospasm, defined by the co-occurrence of acute coronary syndrome and hypersensitivity reaction. We present a case of refractory coronary vasospasm with aborted sudden cardiac arrest secondary to type 1 Kounis syndrome, which was complicated by eosinophilic myocarditis and cardiogenic shock. A 29-year-old Hispanic woman with history of vasospastic angina, presented with recurrent episodes of angina at rest. Initial evaluation revealed hyper-eosinophilia, elevated troponin and diffuse ST segment depression on electrocardiogram (ECG). Suddenly, she developed bradycardia and had a sudden cardiac arrest. An urgent coronary angiogram after resuscitation revealed severe multifocal vasospasm which resolved following high doses of intracoronary vasodilators. Type 1 Kounis syndrome was suspected and she was initiated on intravenous corticosteroids and anti-histamines. Subsequently, she developed cardiogenic shock, and a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) showed diffuse subendocardial late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) suggestive of eosinophilic myocarditis. She was diagnosed with type 1 Kounis syndrome associated with eosinophilic myocarditis. Kounis syndrome should be suspected in patients with refractory vasospastic angina. When indicated, coronary angiography should be performed with administration of intracoronary vasodilators for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Although, definite diagnosis of eosinophilic myocarditis requires endomyocardial biopsy, cMRI can be a crucial non-invasive method for establishing the diagnosis.


cardiac magnetic resonance imaging; eosinophilic myocarditis; kounis syndrome; sudden cardiac arrest; vasospasm

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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