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Circulation. 1985 Feb;71(2):218-26.

Left ventricular dysfunction in patients with angina pectoris, normal epicardial coronary arteries, and abnormal vasodilator reserve.


Thirty-three patients with chest pain despite angiographically normal coronary arteries underwent both coronary flow studies during pacing and resting and exercise gated blood pool scintigraphy. During atrial pacing after administration of ergonovine, those patients developing their typical chest pain demonstrated significantly lower great cardiac vein flow (97 +/- 31 vs 150 +/- 33 ml/min, p less than .001), higher coronary resistance (1.27 +/- 0.43 vs 0.77 +/- 0.18 mm Hg/ml/min, p less than .005), and less lactate consumption (30.5 +/- 22.0 vs 69.7 +/- 41.1 mM . ml/min, p less than .005) and a higher left ventricular end-diastolic pressure after pacing (20 +/- 4 vs 12 +/- 1, p less than .001) compared with those without pain and in the absence of significant luminal narrowing of the epicardial coronary arteries. The 26 patients with abnormal vasodilator reserve demonstrated reduced left ventricular ejection fraction during exercise (58 +/- 8%) compared with the seven patients with appropriate vasodilator reserve (66 +/- 4%, p less than .05) and with a group of 52 control patients of similar age and sex distribution and free of known heart disease (66 +/- 10%, p less than .001). In addition, 12 of the 26 patients with abnormal vasodilator reserve demonstrated exercise-induced regional wall motion abnormalities. Many of these patients also manifested impaired left ventricular diastolic filling at rest compared with the control subjects (peak filling rate 2.6 +/- 0.7 vs 3.2 +/- 0.7 end-diastolic volume/sec, p less than .005). Thus, patients with chest pain resulting from abnormal vasodilator reserve demonstrate abnormalities of left ventricular systolic and diastolic function suggestive of myocardial ischemia.

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