Severe, diffuse coronary artery spasm after drug-eluting stent placement

J Invasive Cardiol. 2006 Dec;18(12):584-92.


Objectives: Three cases of severe, diffuse coronary artery spasm after drug-eluting stent placement at our institution prompted this review.

Background: Drug-eluting stents have gained widespread use due to extraordinarily low rates of restenosis. Despite these generally superior clinical outcomes, the specter of rare idiosyncratic reactions remains a concern.

Methods: We performed searches of Medline and the U.S. FDA Manufacturer And User facility Device Experience database (MAUDE) to identify and describe spasm after coronary stent placement. Searches included drug-eluting and bare-metal stents. Institutional cases are reviewed. Location, time course and outcome of cases are described.

Results: Thirteen cases of spasm were identified after stent placement. Seven cases occurred after Cypher drug-eluting stent placement, 2 after Taxus drug-eluting stent placement, 1 after BiodivYsio and 3 after bare-metal stents. Five patients experienced diffuse, multivessel spasm--2 after Cypher, 2 after Taxus, and 1 after a Velocity stent. Of these 5 patients, 2 died. An additional 2 required intra-aortic balloon pump placement for cardiogenic shock. Another had persistent symptomatic, diffuse coronary spasm documented by angiography at 1 year.

Conclusions: We describe coronary spasm after stent placement, particularly after drug-eluting stents. Outcomes associated with diffuse severe spasm after stenting are poor, and the pathophysiology remains poorly understood.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy*
  • Coronary Restenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Restenosis / etiology*
  • Coronary Restenosis / physiopathology
  • Coronary Vasospasm / complications*
  • Coronary Vasospasm / physiopathology
  • Coronary Vasospasm / therapy
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stents*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents