Intermittent Typical Angina: Remember Wellens’ Syndrome

  • Marco Nastasi Division of Cardiology, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
Case Reports, Chest Pain, Coronary Angiography, Electrocardiography, Wellens’ Syndrome


Introduction: We describe a patient without a history of cardiovascular diseases as an example of Wellens’ syndrome (WS). Case Report: A 65-year-old man presented to emergency department due to intermittent chest pain. Physical examination and chest x-ray were unremarkable. Electrocardiogram (ECG) showed biphasic T-wave in precordial leads V1-V4. Primary cardiac serum biomarkers including high-sensitive cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) and CK-MB were slightly elevated, that further assessment did not show any increases; while ECG recorded during a pain period revealed T-wave pseudo-normalization. The patient underwent coronary angiography that revealed a proximal left anterior descending artery lesion. Conclusion: WS is a diagnostic and management challenge and serial ECG evaluation is still essential for a possible acute coronary syndrome. Having knowledge of all subtle features of this syndrome, could avoid improper discharge of high-risk patients. Definitely, accurate risk stratification, and prompting these patients to an early coronary angiogram and treatment are mandatory to avoid development of a massive anterior myocardial infarction.


Download data is not yet available.


1. de Zwaan C, Bär FW, Wellens HJ. Characteristic electrocardiographic pattern indicating a critical stenosis high in left anterior descending coronary artery in patients admitted because of impending myocardial infarction. Am Heart J. 1982;103(4 Pt 2):730-6.
2. Januzzi JL Jr, McCarthy CP. Evaluating Chest Pain in the Emergency Department: Searching for the Optimal Gatekeeper. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018;71(6):617-9
3. Pope JH, Aufderheide TP, Ruthazer R, Woolard RH, Feldman JA, Beshansky JR, et al. Missed diagnoses of acute cardiac ischemia in the emergency department. N Engl J Med. 2000;342(16):1163-70.
4. Cervellin G, Mattiuzzi C, Bovo C, Lippi G. Diagnostic algorithms for acute coronary syndrome-is one better than another? Ann Transl Med. 2016;4(10):193.
5. de Zwaan C, Bär FW, Janssen JH, Cheriex EC, Dassen WR, Brugada P, et al. Angiographic and clinical characteristics of patients with unstable angina showing an ECG pattern indicating critical narrowing of the proximal LAD coronary artery. Am Heart J. 1989; 117(3):657-65
6. Tandy TK, Bottomy DP, Lewis JG. Wellens’ syndrome. Ann Emerg Med. 1999;33(3):347–51.
7. Haines DE, Raabe DS, Gundel WD, Wackers FJ. Anatomic and prognostic significance of new T-wave inversion in unstable angina. Am J Cardiol. 1983;52(1):14-8.
8. Patel K, Alattar F, Koneru J, Shamoon F. ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction after Pharmacologic Persantine Stress Test in a Patient with Wellens' Syndrome. Case Rep Emerg Med. 2014;2014:530451
How to Cite
Nastasi M. Intermittent Typical Angina: Remember Wellens’ Syndrome. Adv J Emerg Med. 3(3):e30.
Case (report / study)