Thirty-five patients with atypical chest pain were given ergonovine maleate as a provocative test for coronary spasm. None of the patients had significant coronary atherosclerosis. The patients were divided into two groups based on clinical information available before ergonovine testing. Group 1 patients (n=13) had objective evidence of cardiac disease manifested by episodes of syncope, ventricular tachyarrhythmias, myocardial infarction, or transient ST segment shifts with chest pain. Group 2 patients had chest pain but no objective evidence of cardiac disease. The ergonovine test was positive in 11 of 13 patients in group 1. None of the 22 group 2 patients had a positive response to ergonovine. These data suggest that ergonovine testing does not allow for any more precise recognition of patients with atypical chest pain who have coronary artery spasm than do clinical data alone.
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