UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Cardiology

Title: coronary spasm

Keywords: coronary spasm,acute coronary syndrome (PubMed Search)

Posted: 10/12/2008 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 8/15/2022)
Click here to contact Amal Mattu, MD

An estimated 20-30% of patients with ACS end up having no identifiable culprit lesion on angiography. Almost half of these patients have inducible coronary spasm. Although these patients have a good outcome, they also have a tendency to return to the hospital for frequent re-evaluations. Evaluation for and treatment of spasm can improve the quality of life for these patients and also to decrease re-visits.

When patients with reports of "clean" coronaries return to the ED with a concerning presentation for ACS, one of the considerations should be coronary spasm. Consider prompting the primary care physician or admitting team to look into this possibility, as it may result in a reduction in recurrent ED visits.