Objectives: To assess the efficacy of medication for the treatment of pure coronary spastic angina, 71 consecutive patients with this diagnosis who had undergone coronary arteriography in a hospital with a follow-up of at least 2 years were studied.
Methods and results: All 71 patients without significant organic stenosis were treated with long-acting calcium antagonists. The disappearance of chest pain attacks while receiving medical therapy was observed in 27 patients (38%), whereas the remaining 44 patients (62%) had chest pain attacks. Of special interest, 30 patients had more than one attack per month irrespective of the administration of calcium antagonists or isosorbide dinitrate. Medical treatment showed a good response in female patients (63% vs 31%, respectively; p < 0.05) and those with ST-segment elevation during selective spasm provocation tests (63% vs 30%, respectively; p < 0.05). In contrast, patients with a longer history of chest pain attacks before hospital admission and those with diffuse spasms (77% vs 34%, respectively; p < 0.01) had poor responses to medical treatment. In this study, neither sudden death nor acute myocardial infarction was observed during the follow-up periods.
Conclusion: The limitations of medical therapy, including the administration of long-acting calcium antagonists, were observed in 30 of 71 patients (42%) with pure coronary spastic angina. Medical treatment was effective in only 38% of patients with pure coronary spastic angina in Japan.