Abnormal Coronary Vasomotion as a Prognostic Indicator of Cardiovascular Events in Women: Results from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-Sponsored Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE)

Academic Article


  • Background-Coronary vascular dysfunction has been linked to atherosclerosis and adverse cardiovascular outcomes in men, but these relationships have not been firmly established in women. Methods and Results-As part of the Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 163 women referred for clinically indicated coronary angiography underwent coronary reactivity assessment with quantitative coronary angiography and intracoronary Doppler flow before and after intracoronary administration of acetylcholine, adenosine, and nitroglycerin and were then followed up for clinical outcomes. History of hypertension was present in 61%, dyslipidemia in 54%, diabetes in 26%, and current tobacco use in 21% of women enrolled. Seventy-five percent had no or only mild epicardial coronary artery disease (CAD). Over a median follow-up of 48 months, events occurred in 58 women. On bivariate analysis, women with an event had significantly less change in coronary cross-sectional area (ΔCSA) in response to acetylcholine (P=0.0006) and nitroglycerin (P=0.04). In addition, women with abnormal coronary dilator response to acetylcholine had less time free from cardiovascular events (P=0.004). In multivariable analysis, after controlling for age, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, tobacco use, and CAD severity, %ΔCSA with acetylcholine (P=0.001) independently predicted events. When the outcome was restricted to only death, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and stroke, %ΔCSA with acetylcholine remained a significant predictor (P=0.006). Conclusions-In women in this study, impaired coronary vasomotor response to acetylcholine was independently linked to adverse cardiovascular outcomes regardless of CAD severity.
  • Published In

  • Circulation  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Von Mering GO; Arant CB; Wessel TR; McGorray SP; Bairey Merz CN; Sharaf BL; Smith KM; Olson MB; Johnson BD; Sopko G
  • Start Page

  • 722
  • End Page

  • 725
  • Volume

  • 109
  • Issue

  • 6