Heart & Cardiology/Vasospasms


I was diagnosed with vasospasms approximately four years ago during a cardiac cath following a MI.  I have been on beta blockers, blood pressure meds and nitro since then.  I recently had a second MI following knee replacement surgery.  Again, the MI was caused by vasospasms.  (I also have asthma and cold hands and feet.  The nifedipine helps this.)  I could live with the angina, but generally but sometimes the results are significant.

I do not smoke or drink; am not obese; eat a healthy diet; and get some exercise.  

What is causing the vasospasms and how can work with my health care providers to treat them effectively.?

Hello Deborah,

The cause of coronary spasm is unknown, at least by me.  Long acting nitrates like isosorbide dinitrate and isosorbide mononitrate and nitroglycerin patches may help, as do calcium channel blockers like nifedipine.  It might be worth adding verapamil, another calcium channel blocker with different actions.  Verapamil has 12-hour and 24-hour forms, probably more expensive. Ordinary verapamil is taken three times a day.

Please let me know if I can provide more help.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson


Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.


Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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