Coronary artery vasospasm, the most common cause of sudden death in patients with structurally normal hearts, is not well recognized. We describe 2 survivors of sudden death with ergonovine-inducible coronary artery vasospasm successfully treated long term with calcium channel blockers. Of the reported (17 worldwide) patients with documented vasospasm-mediated sudden cardiac death treated with calcium blockers, none have had a recurrent event. This is substantially less than the 6-month sudden-death rate of 18% of untreated vasospasm. We advocate that ergonovine provocative testing of sudden-death survivors with structurally normal hearts, followed by appropriate therapy with calcium channel blockers, be the standard approach for these highly treatable patients.

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