Peripheral arterial function and coronary microvascular function in patients with variant angina

Rossella Parrinello, Alfonso Sestito, Antonino Di Franco, Giulio Russo, Angelo Villano, Stefano Figliozzi, Roberto Nerla, Pierpaolo Tarzia, Alessandra Stazi, Gaetano A. Lanza, Filippo Crea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: In this study, we assessed whether any abnormalities in coronary microvascular and peripheral vasodilator functions are present in patients with variant angina (VA) caused by epicardial coronary artery spasm (CAS). Methods: We studied 23 patients with VA (i.e. angina at rest, ST-segment elevation during angina attacks and documented occlusive CAS at angiography) and 18 matched healthy controls. Endothelium-dependent and -independent coronary microvascular function was assessed by measuring coronary blood flow (CBF) response to adenosine and the cold pressor test (CPT) in the left anterior descending artery by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography. Systemic endothelium-dependent and -independent arterial dilator function was assessed by measuring brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and nitrate-mediated dilation (NMD), respectively. Results: In VA patients, CBF responses to both adenosine (1.71 ± 0.25 vs. 2.97 ± 0.80, p <0.01) and CPT (1.68 ± 0.23 vs. 2.58 ± 0.60, p <0.01) were reduced compared to controls. Brachial FMD was also lower (3.87 ± 2.06 vs. 8.51 ± 2.95%, p <0.01), but NMD was higher (16.7 ± 1.8 vs. 11.9 ± 1.4%, p <0.01) in patients compared to controls. Differences were independent of the presence of coronary atherosclerotic lesions at angiography. Conclusions: Our data show that patients with VA have a generalized vascular dysfunction that involves both peripheral artery vessels and coronary microcirculation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Angina
  • Coronary microvascular function
  • Coronary vasospasm
  • Peripheral vascular function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Peripheral arterial function and coronary microvascular function in patients with variant angina'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this