Newly Diagnosed - Coronary Artery Spasms - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Newly Diagnosed - Coronary Artery Spasms

Hi All, I have just been diagnosed with Coronary Artery Spasms.

Does anybody else have this? I am still in shock with it. To be told that I have it for the rest of my life and it cannot be cured has knocked me for six.

Does anybody have any coping strategies or have you had treatments that ease it as I am on a lot of painkillers/drugs to be able to cope with the pain?

Thanks All, Tracey

7 Replies

Tracy it is all new and l bet spinning around in your head is the what ifs and is its and could it be's, the first thing is to keep calm, easer said than done, stress is a major trigger so being stressed makes things worse.

I have replied to you in another thread about the prinzemetal angina facebook group. If your not into posting thats ok but you will get better information from there than from any other place that l know of.

See you there


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Hi thank you for letting me know. I have asked to join the group. The news is bit daunting. Scary tbh xx


Hello Teddy Bear Princess

I am sorry to hear you have joined us living with this challenging heart related pain condition.

I have lived with vasospastic angina causing spasms in the small and large bloods in my heart, in my brain and elsewhere for over 6 years.

Coronary Microvascular dysfunction with Microvascular angina and Coronary artery spasms, migraine and Raynauds phenomenon.

It is trial and error finding the right combination of medication that will work best for you. Have you got a supportive Cardiologist to work with?

My main triggers are the cold...I am sad to see the warm weather go. Mental and emotional stress cause problems too.

As Kelvin says you have to learn to as cool as a cucumber.

Everyone has their stratergies. I was referred to a Pain Management Service and they really helped me to learn as well as I can with my pain.

I use CBT, Meditation, Tai Chi and yoga. I am able to exercise I swim and go to the gym. I volunteer.

Dr Google's consulting room along with often US based Facebook groups may not always be places that provide accurate information and can raise you anxieties further. Healthcare is provided very differently in different parts of the world.

There is some information on the BHF website which you may find helpful the CAS information needs updating but the MVA was updated last year. All the information on the website is thoroughly researched and vetted to make sure it is as accurate as possible.


Hi Milkfairy. Thank you for your response. I have not got a cardiologist at the moment. Was told by hospital that if in lots pain get dr to refer me. Still get lots pain went to drs who have given me another tablet this one that is a slow release gtn tablet. It knocks me for six debating whether to go bk docs but feel so ill. What would you do?


Hi Teddy bear Princess,

I am sorry to hear that you are feeling so unwell.

Who diagnosed you with Coronary artery spasms? If it was by A&E staff then you should have been reviewed by a member of the Cardiology team.

You need to be assessed properly by a Cardiologist. Unfortunately there is very little understanding of Microvascular angina or Coronary artery spasms. It is often dismissed as not being a problem.

The symptoms of both MVA and CAS can be very similar but the treatment different. It took a lot of trial and error to get the combination of drugs that work best for me.

I was diagnosed after a very specialised angiogram which is the test that Prof Colin Berry performs in Glasgow his research was published this week.

Take a printout of the BHF leaflets and information above back to your GP and ask for a referral to the Rapid Chest pain clinic.


Hi Tracey, I am also diagnosed with coronary artery Spasm. It is a poorly understood condition but my best suggestion is to keep going back to docs. You need a cardiologist who has experience of this condition, again not easy to find a good one. You should be on a Calcium channel blocker eg Nifedipine, sounds like you are already on Isosorbide Mononitrate, but you may need this increased. Use your GTN spray when in pain but if it doesn't help you should be calling an ambulance for prolonged chest pain. I am in Scotland and felt alone but through the Facebook group there are plenty others in the UK with it.


Thank you for those kind words. I didn't realise how many people have it. I'm constantly on at the docs. Going round in circles.


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