Angiographic Coronary Spasm in a Case of Spontaneous Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Mimicking Acute Myocardial Infarction

Hung Yi Chen


Neurologic stunned myocardium after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) has been evidenced. Clinical presentations manifested as ST segment elevation by electrocardiography (ECG), left ventricular wall motion abnormality by echocardiography, and abnormal cardiac markers. The pathophysiology remains controversial. Coronary artery spasm has been proposed as a possible mechanism. However, most SAH patients with ECG and echocardiographic findings suggestive of myocardial infarction were lacking of angiographic evidence of vasospasm. We present a case of 66-year-old man complained chest pain with transient conscious loss on the street. He was sent to our emergency room by witness with clear consciousness and electrocardiography showing prominent ST-segment elevation. Because chest tightness was complained, emergent catheterization was arranged immediately. Coronary angiography demonstrated a narrowing lesion on mid right coronary artery without atherosclerotic change on other site. He was successfully treated with primary coronary balloon angioplasty for the narrowing lesion. Then the patient was sent to intensive care unit for further care. His following ECG demonstrated sinus rhythm with ectopic beats without ST segment elevation. Unfortunately, he became irritable and deterioration of conscious level few hour later. Computer tomography revealed subdural and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Conservative treatment was suggested by neurological surgeon consulted. The clinical presentation of the SAH patient mimicked acute myocardial infarction and coronary spasm was evidenced by angiography. We report the case and review the articles.

Cardiol Res. 2013;4(2):74-77


Coronary spasm; Coronary angiography; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Acute myocardial infarction

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