Clinical characteristics of female patients with coronary spastic angina: comparison with male patients

Jpn Circ J. 2000 Jun;64(6):416-20. doi: 10.1253/jcj.64.416.


There are many patients with vasospastic angina who have minor atherosclerosis, and in Japan the majority of them are male. No data exist concerning sex differences in patients with coronary spastic angina, so the present study sought to clarify the clinical characteristics between male and female patients with vasospastic angina. Between April 1991 and June 1998, 204 consecutive patients were diagnosed with vasospastic angina and of these, 26 (12.7%) were female. An acetylcholine test was performed with incremental doses of 20, 50, and 80 microg injected into the right coronary artery and 20, 50, and 100 microg into the left coronary artery. Ergonovine was injected in a total dose of 40 microg into the right coronary artery and 64 microg into the left coronary artery. Coronary spasm was defined as 99% or more luminal narrowing accompanied by ischemic changes on ECG. Compared with male patients, female patients had less organic stenosis (12 vs 33%, p<0.05), less history of smoking (15 vs 85%, p<0.01), and fewer focal spasms (31 vs 64%, p<0.01). There were no other differences between the 2 groups. In conclusion, Japanese female patients with vasospastic angina had the characteristics of diffuse provoked spasm, less organic stenosis, and less history of smoking, but only 1 in 10 of all patients with vasospastic angina are female.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angina Pectoris, Variant / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors