BACKGROUND: Stable coronary artery disease is caused by a variable combination of organic coronary stenosis and functional coronary abnormalities, such as coronary artery spasm. Thus, we examined the clinical importance of comorbid significant coronary stenosis and coronary spasm. METHODS AND RESULTS: We enrolled 236 consecutive patients with suspected angina who underwent acetylcholine provocation testing for coronary spasm and fractional flow reserve (FFR) measurement. Among them, 175 patients were diagnosed as having vasospastic angina (VSA), whereas the remaining 61 had no VSA (non-VSA group). The patients with VSA were further divided into the following 3 groups based on angiography and FFR: No organic stenosis (<50% luminal stenosis; VSA-alone group, n=110), insignificant stenosis of FFR>0.80 (high-FFR group, n=36), and significant stenosis of FFR<0.80 (low-FFR group, n=29). The incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events, including cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, urgent percutaneous coronary intervention, and hospitalization attributed to unstable angina was evaluated. All patients with VSA received calcium channel blockers, and 28 patients (95%) in the low-FFR group underwent a planned percutaneous coronary intervention. During a median follow-up period of 656 days, although the incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events was low and comparable among non-VSA, VSA-alone, and high-FFR groups, the low-FFR group had an extremely poor prognosis (non-VSA group, 1.6%; VSA-alone group, 3.6%; high-FFR group, 5.6%; low-FFR group, 27.6%) (P<0.001). Importantly, all 8 patients with major adverse cardiovascular events in the low-FFR group were appropriately treated with percutaneous coronary intervention and calcium channel blockers. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that patients with VSA with significant coronary stenosis represent a high-risk population despite current guideline-recommended therapies, suggesting the importance of routine coronary functional testing in this population.
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