The spectrum of coronary artery spasm. The variable variant

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type

Case Study


*Angina Pectoris; *Angina Pectoris, Variant; Coronary Angiography; Diagnosis, Differential; Electrocardiography; Female; Heart; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Pain


Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Diagnosis | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms


Angina from coronary artery spasm is not rare. Because new and effective medical therapy is now available, it is imperative that the physician recognize this syndrome when it occurs. Coronary artery spasm can present clinically as unstable rest angina with reversible ST-segment elevation and bradyarrhythmias and tachyarrhythmias. In this setting, Prinzmetal's variant angina is generally promptly recognized and appropriately treated. The diagnosis is variant angina, however, often is not so obvious. Chest pain may be exertional or seem noncardiac in origin. The chest pain syndrome may be chronic and stable as well as unstable. The ECG may show ST-segment depression, rather than elevation. Five cases of coronary artery spasm that emphasize the variable features of variant angina and offer aid for the prompt diagnosis and treatment of the syndrome are presented here.

DOI of Published Version



JAMA. 1981 Jul 24-31;246(4):354-9.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID