Significance of coronary artery spasm diagnosis in patients with early repolarization syndrome

Tsukasa Kamakura, Mitsuru Wada, Kohei Ishibashi, Yuko Y. Inoue, Koji Miyamoto, Hideo Okamura, Satoshi Nagase, Takashi Noda, Takeshi Aiba, Satoshi Yasuda, Wataru Shimizu, Shiro Kamakura, Kengo Kusano

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background--Previously described patients with early repolarization syndrome (ERS) may have experienced silent coronary artery spasm (CAS) because the diagnosis of CAS was mainly based on symptoms or coronary angiography findings, without performing a spasm provocation test. This study investigated the significance of CAS diagnosis and evaluated the incidence of silent CAS in patients with possible ERS (ie, idiopathic ventricular fibrillation [VF] and inferolateral J wave). Methods and Results--The study included 34 patients with idiopathic VF and inferolateral J wave. Thirteen patients (38%) were diagnosed as having CAS on the basis of coronary angiography with spasm provocation test (n=8) and documentation of spontaneous ST elevation (n=5). Of the 13 patients with CAS, 5 (38%) did not experience chest symptoms before and during VF, and were diagnosed as having silent CAS. The remaining 21 patients (62%), with a negative provocation test result and absence of chest symptoms, were considered to have ERS. During the 92 months of follow-up, patients with CAS receiving appropriate medical treatment with antianginal drugs showed a favorable outcome. In contrast, 4 of 21 patients with ERS (19%) had VF recurrences. The use of monotherapy or combination therapy, consisting of quinidine, cilostazol, and bepridil, in the 4 patients with ERS, was effective in suppressing VF. Conclusions--Approximately 40% of patients with CAS with documented VF and inferolateral J wave did not experience chest symptoms at the first VF, and could have been misdiagnosed as having ERS. The use of the spasm provocation test is considered essential to differentiate patients for optimal medical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere007942
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1


  • Coronary spasm
  • Early repolarization syndrome
  • Ventricular fibrillation


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