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Coronary Steal Syndrome Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Coronary steal syndrome is described as symptoms appeared as a result of coronary steal. It is also known as cardiac steal syndrome. In this syndrome, pressure of blood reduces which is directed towards coronary circulation. This reduction occurs due to development of alternative circulation patterns. Coronary steal syndrome occurs as a result of vasoconstriction of coronary arteries. Coronary arteries are wide arteries which are designed to accommodate large volume of blood. So whenever vasoconstriction occurs due to any reason, it leads to coronary steal syndrome because blood finds its other way to flow.


Due to obstruction in blood flow, less blood is supplied to target tissues. so, as a result ischemia occurs in target tissues. In that case vasodilators helps a lot in opening up coronary arteries, so that large volume of oxygenated blood can be supplied to ischaemic zones. It may occur secondary to some medications like dipyridamole. Dipyridamole is therapeutically failed but pharmacologically successful drug. because it has a major side effect I.e. Coronary steal syndrome. It can also occur secondary to cardiac tests. It's symptoms mainly involve ischemia. Medications are not usually useful to treat coronary steal syndrome so surgery is recommended in most cases.

Coronary Steal Syndrome Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Coronary Steal Syndrome Symptoms


Coronary steal syndrome is an asymptomatic condition. When vasoconstriction occurs in coronary artery, the blood flow decreases leading to tissue ischemia. Due to tissue ischemia, cells start dying and patient feels muscle fatigue. Patient feels pain in limbs. Ultimately blood pressure rises because of vasoconstriction. Patient feels tachycardia, increased breathing because of insufficient oxygen supply to body cells. Dizziness and vertigo are reported in 50 percent of patients.  Syncope and dysarthria occurs in 18 percent and 24 percent of patients respectively. Other symptoms involve restlessness and tingling in limbs due to sudden blood flow in limbs.

Coronary Steal Syndrome Causes


There are many causes reported behind coronary steal syndrome. It can occur secondary to some medication. A drug named dipyridamole is well known for causing coronary steal syndrome. This drug is therapeutically failed but pharmacologically successful. Coronary steal syndrome is the major side effect of dipyridamole. It can occur after some cardiac stress test. During exercise test, vasodilators are injected leading to coronary steal syndrome. Isoflurane which is inhalational anesthetic and other drug hydralazine can cause coronary steal syndrome because both of them are direct acting vasodilators. Nitroprusside is another agent which is also responsible for this syndrome.

Coronary Steal Syndrome Treatment


Medications usually do not help much in treating coronary steal syndrome so surgery is considered as a choice of treatment for coronary steal syndrome. Surgical procedures include angioplasty or stenting. The main aim of surgery is to clear out pathway of blood flow. After surgery, the symptoms automatically resolves. Vasodilators are strictly prohibited during treatment because use of vasodilators can again cause coronary steal syndrome. Other than surgery, some life style modifications are also necessary. Like patient have to look after his diet and special instructions should be followed while doing exercises or brisk walking.
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