Did the widespread use of long-acting calcium antagonists decrease the occurrence of variant angina?
GROUND: We have not often encountered variant angina (VA) since the use of long-acting calcium antagonists (L-CAs) became widespread. OBJECTIVES: This study examined the frequency of VA retrospectively. METHODS: and results: We diagnosed angiographically confirmed coronary spastic angina (CSA) in 349 consecutive patients using selective spasm provocation tests from January 1991 to December 2002. During this period, 3,148 diagnostic cardiac catheterizations and 1,515 selective spasm provocation tests were performed. Seventy-four of these 349 patients (21.2%) had VA. Coronary spasms were defined as transient luminal narrowings of > 99%, and VA was defined as an ST elevation during spontaneous attacks or noninvasive stress tests. We classified the 12 years of the study into four periods of 3 years each. No tendency to decrease for the ratio of the number of patients with CSA and the number of selective spasm provocation tests was observed among the four time periods (18%, 24%, 32%, and 23