Microvascular Coronary Dysfunction in a Woman With Signs and Symptoms of Myocardial Ischemia but No Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease

Ravi S. Kahlon, Kamlesh Kothawade, Chrisandra Shufelt, Saibal Kar, Puja K. Mehta, C. Noel Bairey Merz


Women with signs and symptoms of myocardial ischemia often have no obstructive coronary artery disease by invasive coronary angiography when compared to men. Microvascular coronary dysfunction (MCD) is thought to be a key contributory mechanism for myocardial ischemia in women with chest pain and no obstructive CAD. We report a case of a 53-year-old post-menopausal female with hyperlipidemia evaluated for persistent chest pain following a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and no obstructive CAD by coronary angiography. Vital signs and physical examination were within normal limits. Prior EKG showed diffuse abnormal T wave inversion and flattening in anterior and inferior leads. Echocardiography demonstrated an ejection fraction of 72% with no regional wall motion abnormalities. Laboratory values revealed a positive heterozygote factor V Leiden mutation. Given the constellation of persistent chest pain, no obstructive CAD, and prior NSTEMI, a diagnosis of MCD was suspected and she underwent coronary reactivity testing (CRT) with intracoronary infusions of adenosine, acetylcholine, and nitroglycerin to test non-endothelial and endothelial dependent, micro- and macrovascular coronary function. CRT results were consistent with a diagnosis of MCD. A statin and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor was added to her existing treatment of beta-blocker and nitrates. Additionally, she was started on warfarin therapy due to a positive factor V Leiden in the setting of prior NSTEMI. Her symptoms improved at one-month follow-up and she is currently asymptomatic by self- report. In women with signs and symptoms of myocardial ischemia and no obstructive CAD, it is important to identify and diagnose MCD, as inadequate diagnosis is associated with an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events including myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. Identification of MCD and clinical awareness are vital for optimal medical therapy and reduced CVD risk. Clinical trials testing efficacy of traditional and novel interventions are needed in MCD populations.

J Med Cases. 2013;4(4):271-276
doi: https://doi.org/10.4021/jmc1048w


Microvascular coronary dysfunction; Coronary reactivity testing; Non-Obstructive coronary artery disease

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics


World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology


Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity


Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research


Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics



Journal of Medical Cases, monthly, ISSN 1923-4155 (print), 1923-4163 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.
This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website: www.journalmc.org   editorial contact: editor@journalmc.org
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the published articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors and Elmer Press Inc. This website is provided for medical research and informational purposes only and does not constitute any medical advice or professional services. The information provided in this journal should not be used for diagnosis and treatment, those seeking medical advice should always consult with a licensed physician.