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J Electrocardiol. 1982 Oct;15(4):365-80.

Prinzmetal's variant angina: electrocardiographic and angiographic correlations.


Thirty patients with variant angina pectoris (VAP) were analyzed for electrocardiographic features during episodes of VAP. Twenty-nine of these patients had cardiac catheterization, and an autopsy study was performed in one. The patients showed predominantly concave upright T-waves during pain. An increase of R wave amplitude (expressed as delta R) of more than 10% was seen in 17/30 patients (57%). The primary ST-T changes produced by the VAP episodes were conspicuous in two patients with pre-existent complete left and right bundle branch block. Serious dysrhythmias, including ventricular fibrillation (VF), ventricular tachycardia (VT), ventricular premature beats (VPBs) (more than five/min, multifocal and R on T phenomenon), and 2 degrees atrioventricular block were found in thirteen patients (43%). The development of dysrhythmias was related to the duration of VAP episodes. The average time to onset of dysrhythmias was 3.54 min. The dysrhythmias were not contingent upon pre-existing coronary artery anatomy (defined by Friesinger's coronary score), left ventricular ejection fraction or left ventricular segmental abnormalities. The location of the ST-segment elevation and the presence of dysrhythmias during the episodes of VAP (A-V blocks, ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation) were not predictive factors of the coronary anatomy. Eight patients (27%) developed myocardial infarction (MI). Five of them had nontransmural MIs and three developed transmural MIs. The development of MI was not related to the severity of the VAP attacks (appreciated by the magnitude of ST-segment elevation and R wave changes) but showed a relation to the development of an unstable pattern which preceded the infarction. Sixteen patients underwent exercise testing. In eight of them, the coronary arteriograms were normal (Group I); in the remaining eight, significant proximal coronary artery obstructive disease was found (Group II). Group I patients displayed a normal ST-segment response and functional aerobic capacity (FAI = 4.4 +/- 14) as well as normal heart rate (HR) and double product (SBP X HR) responses (HR = 154 +/- 21; SBP X 21; SBP X HR = 290 +/- 71). During exercise, a normal delta R was observed. With one exception, Group II patients showed an abnormal ST-segment response with an overall low exercise capacity (FAI = 57 +/- 17) and decreased hemodynamic response (HR = 27; SBP X HR = 130 +/- 40). FAI, HR, SBP X HR Group I vs. Group II = P less than .005/less than .02/less than .005. The abnormal ST-segment response included elevation in four patients and depression in three. During exercise, Group I with ST-elevation displayed a normal (negative) delta R response; while Group II with ST-depression displayed an abnormal delta R response (positive or no change). There was no difference in the coronary score between Group II patients with ST-segment elevation or depression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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