Transient predominant right ventricular ischemia caused by coronary vasospasm

O. Parodi, P. Marzullo, D. Neglia, M. Galli, A. Distante, D. Rovai, A. L'Abbate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study describes the clinical experience with four patients with variant angina caused by spasm of the right coronary artery who were assessed for the evidence of right ventricular involvement. The patients were suspected of having predominant right ventricular ischemia on the basis of normal thallium-201 scans, left ventricular ejection fraction, regional wall motion assessed by equilibrium radionuclide angiography (RNA), two-dimensional echocardiographic findings, and left ventricular hemodynamics; all procedures were performed during transient ST-segment elevation in the inferior leads. Right ventricular ischemia was documented in four patients by first-pass radionuclide studies and phase analysis of RNA, and in three patients by simultaneous right and left hemodynamic monitoring. The clinical findings from these four patients are compared with those from four other patients with similar electrocardiographic changes, coronary anatomic distribution, and documented right coronary spasm but with evidence of left ventricular involvement as documented by abnormal thallium-201 scintigraphy, RNA, two-dimensional echocardiography, and left hemodynamics during ischemic episodes. Although preliminary, these data indicate the existence of prevalent right ventricular ischemia during variant angina caused by right coronary vasospasm. This condition should be suspected whenever typical anginal symptoms and/or ischemic electrocardiographic changes are accompanied by normal thalium-201 scintigraphic findings and/or normal left ventricular function as assessed by RNA, echocardiography, and left hemodynamic monitoring. Among noninvasive procedures, first-pass radionuclide study and phase analysis of RNA represent suitable techniques for detecting transient right ventricular dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-177
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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