Vasospastic angina (VSA), also known as variant or Prinzmetal's angina, is a relatively uncommon cause of retrosternal chest pain with transient ST segment elevation, mainly due to vasospasm in the coronary arteries. This is a case of 37-year-old female who presented with chest pain and syncope. Her initial workup, including echocardiogram, was negative. Subsequently, she was sent home with an event monitor. During the next two weeks, she continued to have recurrent episodes of similar chest pains and presented to her cardiology appointment with a heart rate of 45 bpm and blood pressure of 100/60 mmHg and was taken to hospital emergency department. Event monitor review showed intermittent complete heart block. In the hospital, the electrocardiogram (EKG) showed complete heart block and inferior lead ST elevations concomitantly with the chest pains. Although suspicious for vasospastic angina, coronary artery disease had to be ruled out for which patient underwent coronary angiography without evidence of significant obstructive disease. Immediately thereafter, the patient underwent permanent pacemaker placement without recurrence of syncopal episodes. This case signifies complete heart block as one of the rare complications of vasospastic angina which otherwise can also lead to symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, syncope, cardiac arrest, and sudden cardiac death.
Published In/Presented At
Sabzwari, S. A., Varga, Z., Butt, K., & Khan, N. (2017). A Reversible Cause of Complete Heart Block Causing Chest Pain and Syncope. Cureus, 9(12), e1953. doi:10.7759/cureus.1953
Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine Faculty