To determine the factors influencing the spontaneous remission of variant angina, clinical characteristics were examined in 75 Japanese patients with variant angina. Spontaneous remission was defined as an absence of angina at rest for at least 3 months after withdrawal of treatment with calcium antagonists. This remission occurred in 12 patients (16%) (remission group), while angina persisted despite treatment with calcium antagonists and nitrates in 33 patients (44%) (persistent angina group). The remaining 30 patients (40%) were angina-free under treatment with calcium antagonists and/or nitrates (angina-free on treatment group). The prevalence of significant coronary artery stenosis (>75%) was significantly higher in the remission group than in the persistent angina group (44% vs 7%, p<0.05). The prevalence of cessation of smoking was significantly higher in the remission group than in the persistent angina group (92% vs 39%, p<0.01). Age, gender, other coronary risk factors, disease activity of variant angina and site of myocardial ischemia during anginal attacks were not statistically different among the 3 groups. There data indicate that remission of variant angina occurs more frequently in patients with than in those without significant coronary artery stenosis and that cessation of smoking is an important factor for remission of variant angina.
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