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Coronary artery spasm and microvascular angina 

Coronary artery spasm and microvascular angina
Coronary artery spasm and microvascular angina

Peter Ong

, and Udo Sechtem

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A more recent version of this content exists; this version was replaced on 29 October 2020. The version that replaced it can be found here.

July 29, 2020: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

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date: 26 February 2021

Ischaemic heart disease comprises a variety of coronary abnormalities, ranging from obstructive atherosclerotic stenoses to functional coronary vasomotor disorders. The latter comprise coronary spasm, as well as coronary microvascular dysfunction. Importantly, structural and functional abnormalities can coexist in a given patient, making it sometimes difficult to determine the underlying cause of angina. Thus, diagnostic algorithms should not only consider the evaluation of atherosclerotic epicardial disease, but also look for the presence of functional coronary disorders. This holds especially true for patients in whom obstructive coronary disease has been excluded, as many of these patients are labelled as having ‘non-cardiac chest pain’. Such an approach may enable the treating physician to adjust the pharmacological therapy more appropriately, in order to improve symptoms and prognosis. Often drug classes such as calcium channel blockers and nitrates are beneficial in these patients. This chapter gives an overview on the current pharmacological management of patients with coronary artery spasm and those suffering from microvascular angina.

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