Tag: Microvascular dysfunction


Phenotype-based management of coronary microvascular dysfunction

40-70% of patients undergoing invasive coronary angiography with signs and symptoms of ischemia are found to have no obstructive coronary artery disease (INOCA). When this heterogeneous group undergo coronary function testing, approximately two-thirds have demonstrable coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD), which is independently associated with adverse prognosis.

There are four distinct phenotypes, or subgroups, each with unique pathophysiological mechanisms and responses to therapies. The clinical phenotypes are microvascular angina, vasospastic angina, mixed (microvascular and vasospastic), and non-cardiac symptoms (reclassification as non-INOCA). The Coronary Vasomotor Disorders International Study Group (COVADIS) have proposed standardized criteria for diagnosis.

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Coronary Slow Flow Is Not Diagnostic of Microvascular Dysfunction in...

Guidelines recommend that coronary slow flow phenomenon (CSFP), defined as corrected thrombolysis in myocardial infarction frame count (CTFC) >27, can diagnose coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD) in patients with angina and nonobstructed coronary arteries.

CSFP has also historically been regarded as a sign of coronary endothelial dysfunction (CED). We sought to validate the utility of CTFC, as a binary classifier of CSFP and as a continuous variable, to diagnose CMD and CED.

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Myocardial ischemia: From disease to syndrome

Although current guidelines on the management of stable coronary artery disease acknowledge that multiple mechanisms may precipitate myocardial ischemia, recommended diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic algorithms are still focused on obstructive epicardial atherosclerotic lesions, and little progress has been made in identifying management strategies for non-atherosclerotic causes of myocardial ischemia.

The purpose of this consensus paper is three-fold: 1) to marshal scientific evidence that obstructive atherosclerosis can co-exist with other mechanisms of ischemic heart disease (IHD); 2) to explore how the awareness of multiple precipitating mechanisms could impact on pre-test probability, provocative test results and treatment strategies; and 3) to stimulate a more comprehensive approach to chronic myocardial ischemic syndromes, consistent with the new understanding of this condition.

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Real Patient Stories

Lynn’s story

I had my first spasm when I was just a young child and continued for almost 50 years with no diagnosis. I always assumed everybody had flushing feelings throughout their body, and hot flashes accompanied by chest pain.

It wasn’t until I was walking my dogs with my sister, one day, and we were going up a steep incline and I couldn’t keep up. I asked her if she felt chest pains when she walked up hills. She looked at me like I was crazy and told me: No!

I then realized something might be wrong with me.

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Dima’s story

March 3rd, 2021 was the day that changed everything. At 55, I had a busy counselling practice and a few other projects on the go. The pandemic was causing anxiety for many of my clients and in my private life. I had a lot of stress of my own: there were safety issues in the building where I lived, and I was looking for a new apartment. Despite this, I thought I was handling it well. I was fairly healthy, I walked daily, ate well, meditated and didn’t smoke or drink.

I started to experience heavy fatigue towards the end of 2020 but told myself it was normal considering all that was going on in the world.

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MaryAnn’s story

When I was 39, with zero risk factors for heart disease, I had all the classic symptoms associated with a heart attack. My doctors put me on three blood thinners to dissolve a clot in a minor artery seen in an angiogram. The next day, while the original clot had dissolved, I had a clot in a larger artery. Baffled, the cardiologists put in a stent. As they backed the scope out of the artery, it spasmed in another location.

At that time, I had a 4-year-old, an 8-year-old, and a 12-year-old. My husband traveled extensively for work. I asked myself two questions: 1) How do I feel about dying at age 39? 2) If I don’t die, how do I live?

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