Cardiac syndrome X. Diagnosis, pathogenesis and management

American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs : Drugs, Devices, and Other Interventions
Juan Carlos KaskiJuan Cosín-Sales


Patients with cardiac syndrome X (typical chest pain and normal coronary arteriograms) represent a heterogeneous syndrome, which encompasses different pathogenic mechanisms. Although symptoms in most patients with cardiac syndrome X are non-cardiac, a sizable proportion of them have angina pectoris due to transient myocardial ischemia. Thus radionuclide myocardial perfusion defects, coronary sinus oxygen saturation abnormalities and pH changes, myocardial lactate production and stress-induced alterations of cardiac high energy phosphate suggest an ischemic origin of symptoms in at least a proportion of patients with cardiac syndrome X. Microvascular abnormalities, caused by endothelial dysfunction, appear to be responsible for myocardial ischemia in patients with cardiac syndrome X. Endothelial dysfunction is likely to be multifactorial in these patients and it is conceivable that risk factors such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus and smoking can contribute to its development. Most patients with cardiac syndrome X are postmenopausal women and estrogen deficiency has been therefore proposed as a pathogenic factor in female patients. Additional factors such as abnormal pain perception may contribute to the...Continue Reading


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