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Cocaine-induced pseudo-Wellens’ syndrome: a Wellens’ phenocopy


Wellens’ syndrome represents critical occlusion of the proximal left anterior descending coronary artery. Electrocardiographic changes similar to Wellens’ wave are not exceptional to acute coronary occlusion and can also be seen in cardiac and non-cardiac conditions, such as left ventricular hypertrophy, persistent juvenile T wave, bundle branch blocks, cerebral haemorrhage, pulmonary oedema, pulmonary embolism, pheochromocytoma, Takotsubo syndrome, digitalis and cocaine-induced coronary vasospasm. Cocaine-induced pseudo-Wellens’ syndrome should be considered as one of the differentials, since cocaine is used frequently by young adults and can cause left anterior descending coronary vasospasm mimicking Wellens’ syndrome. Initiation of the beta-blocking agent in pseudo-Wellens’ syndrome as a part of acute coronary syndrome management can be disastrous. We illustrated a case of cocaine-induced pseudo-Wellens’ syndrome presented with typical chest pain associated with Wellenoid ECG.

  • arrhythmias
  • cardiovascular medicine
  • cardiovascular system
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