Chest pain and "normal" coronary arteries--role of small coronary arteries

The American Journal of Cardiology
R O CannonS E Epstein

Abstract

To study the mechanism of chest pain in patients with insignificant epicardial coronary artery disease, 50 patients underwent great cardiac vein (GCV) flow, oxygen content and lactate determinations at rest and during pacing, and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP) measurements at rest and after pacing. Twenty-four patients having typical chest discomfort during pacing demonstrated significantly lower increase in flow from baseline (36 +/- 18% versus 86 +/- 24%, p less than 0.001) and decrease in coronary resistance (-17 +/- 12% versus -43 +/- 7%, p less than 0.001) compared with 26 patients without pacing-induced chest pain, despite no significant difference in myocardial oxygen consumption (MVO2) between the 2 groups. Lactate consumption at a heart rate (HR) of 150 beats/min was significantly less (28.3 +/- 21.5 versus 51.3 +/- 35.8 mM X ml/min, p less than 0.001) and the increase in LVEDP from rest to after pacing was significantly greater (5 +/- 2 versus 1 +/- 2 mm Hg, p less than 0.001) in the chest pain group. After administration of ergonovine, 0.15 mg intravenously, to 46 of these patients, 31 had typical pain either at rest (1 patient) or during pacing. This group had significantly lower increase in flow (3...Continue Reading

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