UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

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Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Diagnosis | Women's Health


Background: Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an uncommon cause of acute coronary syndrome in younger females with no pre-existing history of coronary artery disease. Recurrent SCAD is common after a first episode and can involve the same coronary artery or present as a new dissection unrelated to the initial lesion. Current recommendations advise for a conservative approach in the absence of haemodynamic compromise and flow limitations. Conversely, there are no clear guidelines for the management of early recurrent SCAD.

Case summary: A 52-year-old woman with history of obesity, asthma, and prediabetes presented with chest pain and electrocardiogram (ECG) showing inferior wall ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Coronary angiography revealed proximal right coronary artery (RCA) dissection and distal left anterior descending artery (LAD) dissection, while left ventriculogram showed Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC). Angiography revealed no flow limitations so conservative management was pursued. She returned within a couple of days with recurrent chest pain and ECG showing similar findings of inferior STEMI. Repeat angiography confirmed progression of the proximal RCA SCAD with resolution of distal LAD SCAD. Since flow through the distal RCA was still preserved, conservative medical management was continued. She presented a third time for palpitations only and another repeat coronary angiogram showed healing RCA SCAD.

Discussion: Management of early recurrent SCAD continues to be a clinical dilemma. In addition, our patient had features of TC which shares a similar clinical risk factor profile with SCAD thus it may be prudent to further investigate for TC in patients presenting with SCAD and have suggestive features of TC on history and echocardiography.


Acute coronary syndrome, Case report, Recurrence, Spontaneous coronary artery dissection, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

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Copyright The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact

DOI of Published Version



Ghafoor HU, Bose A, El-Meligy A, Hannan J. A case report of recurrent spontaneous coronary artery dissection and Takotsubo cardiomyopathy: a treatment dilemma. Eur Heart J Case Rep. 2020 Feb 10;4(1):1-6. doi: 10.1093/ehjcr/ytaa004. PMID: 32128501; PMCID: PMC7047070. Link to article on publisher's site

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European heart journal. Case reports

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License