Safety and prognostic relevance of acetylcholine testing in patients with stable myocardial ischaemia or myocardial infarction and non-obstructive coronary arteries

DOI: 10.4244/EIJ-D-21-00971

Rocco Antonio Montone1, MD, PhD; Riccardo Rinaldi2, MD; Marco Giuseppe Del Buono2, MD; Filippo Gurgoglione2, MD; Giulia La Vecchia2, MD; Michele Russo2, MD, PhD; Andrea Caffè2, MD; Francesco Burzotta1, MD, PhD; Antonio Maria Leone1, MD; Enrico Romagnoli1, MD; Tommaso Sanna1,2, MD; Gemma Pelargonio1, MD; Carlo Trani1,2, MD; Gaetano Antonio Lanza1,2, MD; Giampaolo Niccoli3, MD, PhD; Filippo Crea1,2, MD, PhD

1. Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy; 2. Department of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Sciences, Catholic University of the Sacred HeartRome, Italy; 3. Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Parma, Italy


Intracoronary provocation testing with acetylcholine (ACh) is crucial for the diagnosis of functional coronary alterations in patients with suspected myocardial ischaemia and non-obstructive coronary arteries.


Our intention was to assess the safety and predictive value for major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) in patients presenting with ischaemia with non-obstructive coronary arteries (INOCA) or with myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary arteries (MINOCA).


We prospectively enrolled consecutive INOCA or MINOCA patients undergoing intracoronary ACh provocation testing.


A total of 317 patients were enrolled: 174 (54.9%) with INOCA and 143 (45.1%) with MINOCA. Of these, 185 patients (58.4%) had a positive response to the ACh test. Complications during ACh provocative testing were all mild and transient and occurred in 29 (9.1%) patients, with no difference between patients with positive or negative responses to ACh testing, nor between INOCA and MINOCA patients. A history of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, moderate/severe diastolic dysfunction and a higher QT dispersion at baseline electrocardiogram were independent predictors of complications. MACCE occurred in 30 patients (9.5%) during a median follow-up of 22 months. The incidence of MACCE was higher among patients with a positive ACh test (24 [13.0%] vs 6 [4.5%], p=0.017), and a positive ACh test was an independent predictor of MACCE.


ACh provocation testing is associated with a low risk of mild and transient complications, with a similar prevalence in both INOCA and MINOCA patients. Importantly, ACh provocation testing can help to identify patients at higher risk of future clinical events, suggesting a net clinical benefit derived from its use in this clinical setting.


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Authors: Rocco Antonio Montone, MD, PhD; Riccardo Rinaldi, MD; Marco Giuseppe Del Buono, MD; Filippo Gurgoglione, MD; Giulia La Vecchia, MD; Michele Russo, MD, PhD; Andrea Caffè, MD; Francesco Burzotta, MD, PhD; Antonio Maria Leone, MD; Enrico Romagnoli, MD; Tommaso Sanna, MD; Gemma Pelargonio, MD; Carlo Trani, MD; Gaetano Antonio Lanza, MD; Giampaolo Niccoli, MD, PhD; Filippo Crea, MD, PhD

Publication: EuroIntervention

Publisher: EuroIntervention 2022

Date published: April 4th, 2022


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