Coronary vasospasm in angina pectoris

Lancet. 1977 Apr 2;1(8014):713-7. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(77)92164-x.


Coronary angiography was performed during 34 angina attacks in thirty patients admitted because of recurrent angina at rest. Nineteen (seventeen with S-T segment elevation and two S-T depression) had angiograms during a spontaneous attack, eleven (nine with S-T elevation and two with S-T depression) during an attack induced by intravenous ergonovine maleate. Control coronary angiograms showed a wide range of atherosclerotic obstruction, from normal vessels to severe triple-vessel disease. During the anginal attack, all patients with S-T segment elevation had vasospasm localised to one of the major branches, often resulting in complete occlusion. Attacks with S-T segment depression were seen only in patients with double or triple vessel disease, and here the vasospasm generally affected coronary branches without causing complete occlusion. When appropriately searched for, vasospastic angina seems to be common.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angina Pectoris / etiology*
  • Angiography
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Ergonovine / analogs & derivatives
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Smooth
  • Spasm / chemically induced
  • Spasm / complications
  • Spasm / diagnostic imaging


  • Ergonovine