Coronary angiographic findings in patients with cocaine-associated chest pain

J Emerg Med. 2003 Jan;24(1):9-13. doi: 10.1016/s0736-4679(02)00660-1.


Patients who present to the Emergency Department (ED) with chest pain associated with cocaine use are a common problem. The incidence and predictors of underlying significant coronary disease in patients with and without myocardial infarction (MI) has not been well described. Patients who underwent coronary angiography within 5 weeks of an ED evaluation for cocaine-associated chest pain were studied. Significant disease was defined as > or = 50% stenosis of a coronary artery or major branches or bypass graft. A total of 90 patients underwent coronary angiography. Significant disease was present in 45 (50%), with 1-vessel disease in 32%, 2-vessel disease in 10%, 3-vessel disease in 6%, with significant graft stenosis in 3%. Significant disease was present in 77% of patients with MI or troponin I elevations, compared to only 35% of patients without myonecrosis. Predictors of significant coronary disease included MI or troponin I elevations, prior MI, known coronary disease (prior MI or revascularization), and elevated cholesterol. Only 7 of the 39 patients (18%) without myonecrosis or a history of coronary disease had significant disease on angiography. In conclusion, significant disease is found in the majority of patients with cocaine-associated MI or troponin elevations. In contrast, only a minority of those without myonecrosis have significant coronary disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Chest Pain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Chest Pain / etiology
  • Cocaine / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging*
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Probability
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex Distribution
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Survival Rate
  • Troponin


  • Troponin
  • Cocaine