Research Article

Are coronary artery spasm and progressive damage to the heart associated with the hyperventilation syndrome?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 291 doi: (Published 28 September 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;291:851
  1. L J Freeman,
  2. P G Nixon


    A case of coronary artery vasospasm was studied in a man with a four year history of angina. He had evidence of symptomatic hyperventilation during a spontaneous episode of chest pain. When asked to hyperventilate the pain in his chest and ST elevation were reproduced in the same leads as occurred during the spontaneous attack. This may be the first reported case of spontaneous hyperventilation producing vasoconstriction, and the patient's previous admissions to the coronary care unit may have been associated with coronary vasospasm induced by hyperventilation. When patients with variant angina report pains in the chest in association with dizziness and breathlessness hyperventilation should be considered to be a possible cause of the symptoms. As coronary vasospasm is increasingly implicated in angina after myocardial infarction the role of hyperventilation should be considered more often.