To test whether calcium channel blockade plays a similar role in the coronary vasomotion of patients with syndrome X (n = 29) and patients with Prinzmetal's angina pectoris (n = 12), quantitative angiography was used to evaluate the effect of nifedipine (10 mg, sublingually) on the lumen diameter of proximal, mid and distal thirds of normal epicardial branches. The main differences in the coronary vasomotor reaction were uniform vasodilatation in Prinzmetal's angina and a variable response to syndrome X, and a greater increase in the coronary lumen in patients with Prinzmetal's angina as compared with those with syndrome X who showed vasodilatation. The variable response in syndrome X was not related to changes in diastolic pressure and cardiac output. Patients showing coronary constriction were those who responded to nifedipine with a higher degree of tachycardia, which might suggest a neural participation in the paradoxic reaction to this drug. In the Prinzmetal group, on the contrary, at a similar heart rate increase the pattern was invariably vasodilatation. Thus, calcium ions appear to have a different role in the coronary smooth muscle contractility of the 2 series of patients; in fact, in Prinzmetal's angina nifedipine relaxed the coronary arteries to a greater degree and made them unresponsive to stimuli that were still able to cause vasoconstriction in patients with syndrome X.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine