Limitations of medical therapy in patients with pure coronary spastic angina

Chest. 2003 Feb;123(2):380-6. doi: 10.1378/chest.123.2.380.


Objectives: To assess the efficacy of medication for the treatment of pure coronary spastic angina, 71 consecutive patients with this diagnosis who had undergone coronary arteriography in a hospital with a follow-up of at least 2 years were studied.

Methods and results: All 71 patients without significant organic stenosis were treated with long-acting calcium antagonists. The disappearance of chest pain attacks while receiving medical therapy was observed in 27 patients (38%), whereas the remaining 44 patients (62%) had chest pain attacks. Of special interest, 30 patients had more than one attack per month irrespective of the administration of calcium antagonists or isosorbide dinitrate. Medical treatment showed a good response in female patients (63% vs 31%, respectively; p < 0.05) and those with ST-segment elevation during selective spasm provocation tests (63% vs 30%, respectively; p < 0.05). In contrast, patients with a longer history of chest pain attacks before hospital admission and those with diffuse spasms (77% vs 34%, respectively; p < 0.01) had poor responses to medical treatment. In this study, neither sudden death nor acute myocardial infarction was observed during the follow-up periods.

Conclusion: The limitations of medical therapy, including the administration of long-acting calcium antagonists, were observed in 30 of 71 patients (42%) with pure coronary spastic angina. Medical treatment was effective in only 38% of patients with pure coronary spastic angina in Japan.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine
  • Aged
  • Angina Pectoris, Variant / diagnostic imaging
  • Angina Pectoris, Variant / drug therapy*
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / adverse effects
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Coronary Angiography / drug effects
  • Coronary Vasospasm / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Vasospasm / drug therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Electrocardiography / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isosorbide Dinitrate / adverse effects
  • Isosorbide Dinitrate / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Isosorbide Dinitrate
  • Acetylcholine