(redirected from coronary artery spasm)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.


involuntary rigid muscle contraction, often persistent and often accompanied by pain. It usually has some underlying physical cause such as disease, strain, or injury to the muscle or nearby tissues, impairment of circulation, or a disturbance of body chemistry. The spasm may be confined to one group of muscles or it may be severe and fairly generalized, as in convulsionsconvulsion,
sudden, violent, involuntary contraction of the muscles of the body, often accompanied by loss of consciousness. It is not known what causes the abnormal impulses from the brain that result in convulsive seizures, since the disturbance may arise in normal brain
..... Click the link for more information.
. Painless localized spasms are called tics. These purposeless movements, usually of some part of the face, may begin as purposeful movement in response to some stimulus but eventually are carried out automatically, apparently without reason. They may disappear spontaneously after a time, or may require the elimination of some physical or psychic cause.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an involuntary tonic contraction (cramp) of a muscle or group of muscles. Spasms may affect striated skeletal muscles (for example, with certain paralyses) or smooth muscles. Subject to spasms are the smooth muscles of the vascular wall (for instance, during angina pectoris), the bronchi, the esophagus (cardiospasm), and the intestine. Skeletal-muscle spasms make movement difficult, and smooth-muscle spasms disrupt various functions of organs.



a sudden involuntary muscular contraction marked by extreme tension. Two types of spasms are distinguished: tonic and clonic. In tonic spasm, the tension persists for a long time, and in clonic spasm, there are synchronous jerking muscular contractions, which may be diffuse or limited. Spasms of different muscle groups are designated by specific terms, for example, trismus (spasm of the masticatory muscles) and blepharospasm (spasm of the ring muscle of the eye). Clonic spasms of the entire body are sometimes called convulsions.

Spasm may arise spontaneously or as a reaction to external influences, for example, spasm of the gastrocnemius muscles after chilling in water. It may also result from internal influences, for example, tension of the abdominal muscles in peritonitis. Spasm may be a manifestation of epilepsy, eclampsia, spasmophilia, inflammation, brain tumor and trauma, and many other disorders. In addition to spasm of striated muscles, there is spasm of smooth muscles, for example, cardiospasm and pylorospasm. In children, spasm is most common at a very early age, owing to the structure and functioning of the brain at this stage of life; it results from infection, poisoning, trauma, and various psychogenic factors.

Spasm is treated by caring for the underlying disorder and by administering such anticonvulsants as phenobarbital, primidone, and diphenylhydantoin. The affected person should get sufficient sleep and should abstain from alcohol.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An involuntary and abnormal contraction of isolated bundles of muscle or groups of muscles resulting from a chemical imbalance due to fatigue, ischemia, or trauma.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


an involuntary muscular contraction, esp one resulting in cramp or convulsion
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
* Type 2 variant includes patients with culprit, but quiescent, pre-existing atheromatous lesions, in whom the acute release of inflammatory mediators can induce either coronary artery spasm with normal cardiac enzymes and troponins or plaque erosion or rupture manifesting as acute myocardial infarction.
ST-elevation myocardial infarction secondary to coronary artery spasm provoked by food.
We then evaluated the factors that are associated with coronary artery spasm in patients with different stages of CKD.
Kumazawa, "A case of coronary artery spasm during burr hole opening for craniotomy," Japanese Journal of Anesthesiology, vol.
El-Menyar, "Drug-induced myocardial infarction secondary to coronary artery spasm in teenagers and young adults," Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, vol.52, no.1, pp.51-56, 2006.
Diltiazem HC1 extended-release capsules are indicated in the treatment of hypertension, for the management of chronic stable angina and angina due to coronary artery spasm.
He testified under oath to the PPC`s lawyer that, "Prison's doctors are guessing my health situation; sometimes they tell me I have Coronary Artery Spasm, other times they tell me I have severe Pneumonia".
This might provoke a coronary artery spasm to determine whether it was a cause of the chest pain.
Some people, such as those with a coronary artery spasm, may have angina when they are resting.
It is usually caused by the total blockage of a coronary artery, which supplies the heart with oxygen-filled blood.(5) Three main things can cause this: a blood clot (thrombus), atherosclerosis, and coronary artery spasm. Any one of these can lead to death (infarct) of the heart tissue or an abnormal heartbeat.
Mageri A, Mimmo R, Chierchia S, et al: Coronary artery spasm as a
(12-17) We reviewed coronary (artery) spasm previously, and in this article we provide a revised review and updates on our understanding of coronary artery spasm (CAS) based on recent advances in the field.

Full browser ?