Pseudo-Wellens syndrome, acute pancreatitis, and an anomalous coronary artery: a case report

V. S. Effoe, W. O'Neal, R. Santos, L. Rubinsztain, A. M. Zafari
2019 Journal of Medical Case Reports  
Chest pain associated with transient electrocardiogram changes mimicking an acute myocardial infarction have been described in acute pancreatitis. These ischemic electrocardiogram changes can present a diagnostic dilemma, especially when patients present with concurrent angina pectoris and epigastric pain warranting noninvasive or invasive imaging studies. A 45-year-old African-American man with a history of alcohol use disorder presented to the emergency department of our institution with 36
more » ... stitution with 36 hours of concurrent epigastric pain and left-sided chest pain radiating to his left arm and associated with nausea and dyspnea. On physical examination, he was afebrile; his blood pressure was elevated; and he had epigastric tenderness. His laboratory test results were significant for hypokalemia, normal troponin, and elevated serum lipase and amylase levels. Serial electrocardiograms for persistent chest pain showed ST-segment elevations with dynamic T-wave changes in the right precordial electrocardiogram leads, consistent with Wellens syndrome. He was immediately taken to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, where selective coronary angiography showed normal coronary arteries with an anomalous origin of the right coronary artery from the opposite sinus. Given his elevated lipase and amylase levels, the patient was treated for acute alcohol-induced pancreatitis with intravenous fluids and pain control. His chest pain and ischemic electrocardiogram changes resolved within 24 hours of admission, and coronary computed tomography angiography showed an interarterial course of the right coronary artery without high-risk features. Clinicians may consider deferring immediate cardiac catheterization and attribute electrocardiogram changes to acute pancreatitis in patients presenting with angina pectoris and acute pancreatitis if confirmed by normal cardiac enzymes and elevated levels of lipase and amylase. However, when clinical signs and electrocardiogram findings are highly suggestive of myocardial ischemia/injury, immediate noninvasive coronary computed tomography angiography may be the best approach to make an early diagnosis.
doi:10.1186/s13256-019-2315-1 pmid:31884973 fatcat:ivepphg4ifasvipd53g4cj55uy