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Coronary vasospasm

Coronary vasospasm or Coronary Artery Spasm is a condition in which the arteries which supply the heart spontaneously constrict - leading to a lack of oxygen and a type of angina (chest pain) called Vasospastic angina or Prinzmetal angina (named after the doctor who first identified the condition in 1959).

In serious cases it can lead to a heart attack. The prevalence of the condition among the global population has not yet been accurately quantified, and the underlying biological mechanisms which lead to it are unknown.

Although the pathogenesis of coronary artery spasm has not been fully elucidated, different pathogenic mechanisms have been proposed, such as vascular smooth muscle cell hyperreactivity, endothelial dysfunction, magnesium deficiency, low-grade inflammation, altered autonomic nervous system response and oxidative stress โ€“ variables that could be modified by genetic factors.

Source : Archives of Cardiovascular Diseases, Open Access Volume 112, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages 44-55

Note that the condition is now considered as separate to Angina Pectoris - which has similar symptoms (though brought on by exertion rather than occurring spontaneously) and is caused by narrowing of the arteries due to Arterial sclerosis (a.k.a Atherosclerosis)plugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigArterial sclerosis (a.k.a Atherosclerosis)

Arterial sclerosis (a.k.a. atherosclerosis) is an extremely common condition which can cause coronary thrombosis, myocardial infarction and other serious conditions. However:

""The atherosclerotic process is not fully understood."

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