Behavior of right and left ventricles during episodes of variant angina in relation to the site of coronary vasospasm

D. Neglia, O. Parodi, P. Marzullo, G. Sambuceti, C. Marcassa, C. Michelassi, A. L'Abbate

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The effects of single-vessel coronary occlusion on simultaneously evaluated right (RV) and left ventricular (LV) performance were assessed and compared with LV perfusion patterns in 25 patients with variant angina. Coronary spasm involved the right coronary artery in 15 patients (group 1) and the left anterior descending coronary artery in 10 patients (group 2). Biventricular function was assessed by radionuclide angiography under basal conditions, during spontaneous or ergonovine-induced ischemia, and after resolution of the ischemic attack. Myocardial perfusion was assessed by thallium 201 scintigraphy in 21 patients of this series during superimposable ischemic episodes. In group 1, ischemia caused RV (14 of 15 patients) and LV (13 of 15 patients) regional dysfunction with significant reduction in RV and LV ejection fractions. The interventricular septum was involved in six of 15 patients, causing a more pronounced LV impairment. In group 2, all patients showed septal dyssynergies associated with a reduction of LV ejection fraction; absent or trivial RV involvement was observed. In both groups, LV perfusion defects were present in all patients with LV wall motion abnormalities during ischemia, matching the site of regional dyssynergies. Thus, in a group of patients with variant angina and single-vessel disease, transient occlusion of the right coronary artery directly caused RV and LV impairment; in these patients, the extent of LV but not RV dysfunction appeared related to the presence of septal ischemia. Vasospasm of the left anterior descending coronary artery consistently caused LV dysfunction not associated with secondary effects on RV systolic function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-577
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • coronary vasospasm
  • myocardial function
  • radioisotopes
  • ventricular function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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