Postoperative ST-segment elevation: was vasospasm caused by anaphylaxis or by its treatment with epinephrine?
BACKGROUND: Anaphylaxis must be recognized and treated promptly to avoid significant morbidity and mortality. In this clinical setting, electrocardiographic changes can be multifactorial. OBJECTIVE: To discuss vasospasm as a cause of myocardial ischemia and its possible triggering by anaphylaxis itself or by the administration of epinephrine. METHODS: We describe a patient with multiple previous allergies who received intravenous epinephrine to treat suspected anaphylaxis. She immediately developed crushing chest pain with ST-segment elevations in the inferior leads. Throughout the discussion, we address differential diagnoses, physiologic features, and treatment. RESULTS: Her symptoms and electrocardiographic changes were consistent with vasospasm, which resolved after treatment with sublingual nitroglycerin. However, the reaction was sufficient to cause an elevation in the troponin T level and, therefore, myocardial damage on the cellular level. CONCLUSIONS: Cardiovascular complications, including electrocardiographic changes, may be induced by anaphylactic mediators or by medications used for its treatment.
Goldhaber-Fiebert, S; Grecu, L
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