Objectives.: This study sought to determine whether the location of coronary spastic activity may change over time in patients with persistent variant angina. Background.: Although electrocardiographic studies have provided indirect evidence to indicate that the location of ischemia may change in patients with variant angina, it has not been tested by quantitative angiography whether the location of vasospastic activity may change over time. Methods.: Paired ergonovine provocation tests and coronary angiography were performed at a mean (±SD) interval of 43 ± 13 months apart in patients with persistent symptoms of vasospastic angina in the absence of significant atherosclerosis. A total of 87 spastic and nonspastic segments of 87 major vessels in 29 patients were analyzed by quantitative angiography at baseline, after the administration of ergonovine and after isosorbide dinitrate at the initial and follow-up tests. Results.: In 13 patients (group 1), coronary spasm was observed in the same 16 coronary segments at both the initial and follow-up ergonovine provocation tests. In 16 patients (group 2), the following angiographic changes occurred between the initial and follow-up tests in 48 major vessels: Of the 23 segments that developed spasm at the initial test, 10 did not have spasm at the follow-up test; of the 25 vessels that did not demonstrate spasm on the initial test, 12 demonstrated spasm on the follow-up test (a new site of spasm). Thus, in 22 (46%) of 48 vessels, fluctuation of spastic location was observed at follow-up. Conclusions.: Quantitative coronary angiography and repeated ergonovine tests revealed that some patients with persistent vasospastic angina demonstrate fluctuation of vasospastic location, whereas others exhibit a fixed location of vasospasm. Vasospastic angina may not only be a transient disease restricted in location, but may also be a persistent and variable condition involving multiple vessels over many years.
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