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Am J Cardiol. 1981 Jul;48(1):28-32.

Myocardial infarction with normal coronary arteries: a prospective clinical-angiographic study.


The association of myocardial infarction with normal coronary arteries was analyzed prospectively. A series of 259 consecutive men aged 60 years or less underwent selective coronary angiography 30 days after a definite infarct. Coronary arterial lesions were documented in 251 patients, normal coronary arteries in the remaining 8. The latter patients had a significantly lower (p less than 0.001) mean age than the former; no patient older than 50 years had patent coronary arteries, whereas 5 of the 11 patients under age 35 had normal arteries. The prevalence of risk factors was similar in both groups of patients. Although there were no group differences in infarct size or location, patients with normal coronary arteries had a higher ejection fraction (p less than 0.01) and a lower left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (p less than 0.05). A previous history of angina or infarction and the occurrence of new coronary events were confined to patients with coronary arterial lesions. The clinical course of patients presenting with normal angiograms was uneventful. Transient coronary occlusion, the most likely mechanism of infarction in this group of patients, could not be ascribed to either spasm or platelet hyperactivity.

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