Thirteen hospitalized patients with variant angina were studied to assess circadian variation in disease activity. Over 48 hours, all angina attacks were noted, a continuous Holter electrocardiogram was recorded and 2 ergonovine tests were performed 12 hours apart, 1 at 4 am and the other at 4 pm. Only 2 patients gave a clearcut history of more frequent nocturnal or early morning attacks. During the study period, 1.8 ± 1.6 am and 0.62 ± 1.2 pm angina episodes per patient were reported (p < 0.02), but a circadian pattern was apparent in only 4 patients. However, Holter analysis revealed 5.3 ± 13.8 am and 2.6 ± 8.5 pm episodes of ST elevation per patient (p < 0.05) and 8.1 ± 13.9 am and 3.2 ± 8.5 pm episodes of ST elevation, ST depression or T-wave pseudonormalization (p < 0.01). Ten of 11 patients with Holter abnormalities had more frequent am than pm attacks (p < 0.01). ST elevation developed during all 13 of the 4-AM and 12 of 13 of the 4-PM ergonovine tests. In 10 cases the ergonovine threshold at which the attack occurred was lower in the morning, in no case was it lower in the afternoon, and in 3 patients the morning and afternoon doses were identical (p < 0.01). Thus, circadian variation in disease activity both for spontaneous and provoked attacks is present in most patients with variant angina, even though it is often not clinically apparent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine