Coronary artery spasm - Symptom
Variant angina; Angina - variant; Prinzmetal's angina; Vasospastic angina
Spasm may be "silent" -- without symptoms -- or it may result in chest pain or angina. If the spasm lasts long enough, it may even cause a heart attack.
The main symptom is a type of chest pain called angina, which can be felt under the chest bone and is described as:
It is usually severe. The pain may spread to the neck, jaw, shoulder, or arm.
- Often occurs at rest
- May occur at the same time each day, usually between midnight and 8:00 AM
- Lasts from 5 to 30 minutes
The person may lose consciousness.
Unlike angina that is caused by hardening of the coronary arteries, chest pain and shortness of breath are often not present when you walk or exercise.
Signs and tests:
Tests to diagnose coronary artery spasm may include:
- Reviewed last on: 6/28/2011
- David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, Washington.
Cannon CP, Braunwald E. Unstable angina and non-ST elevation myocardial infarction. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2007:chap 53.
Stern S, Bayes de Luna A. Coronary artery spasm: a 2009 update. Circulation. 2009 May 12;119(18):2531-4.
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