Prinzmetal's angina Clinical and anatomic aspects

West J Med. 1975 Mar;122(3):187-93.


A review of 120 patients who had a discharge diagnosis of intermediate coronary syndrome showed 12 patients with documented transient ST elevation during spontaneous rest pain consistent with Prinzmetal's angina. Coronary arteriography showed severe proximal occlusive coronary atherosclerosis in nine of the patients, and normal or minimal disease in the other three patients. In two of these three, there was documented coronary arterial spasm with reproduction of symptoms during arteriography. Although a shorter history of chest pain, presence of an old myocardial infarction and a positive finding on electrocardiogram treadmill test tended to predict the patients with severe occlusive coronary artery disease, these methods were inadequate to select candidates for arteriography. All patients responded well to nitroglycerine while in the hospital. Five of the nine patients with coronary artery disease had coronary bypass operations, with two excellent, two fair and one poor result. One of the three patients with normal findings on coronary arteriograms died with refractory ventricular arrhythmia six months after study. The other two have had good-to-moderate relief of symptoms on long-acting vasodilators and propranolol. Current concepts of the syndrome of Prinzmetal's angina and ST elevation are reviewed. It appears that this syndrome has a wide spectrum of clinical presentations and coronary arteriographic anatomies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angina Pectoris / diagnosis
  • Angina Pectoris / etiology*
  • Angiography
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged