Synthetic cannabinoids and ST elevation myocardial infarction. | Am J Med Sci;364(4): 481-491, 2022 Oct.


Synthetic cannabinoids cannot be detected on a standard urine drug screen (UDS), making them a convenient drug of abuse. We report the first case of ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in a young patient due to coronary artery thrombosis secondary to synthetic cannabinoid use and concurrent COVID-19 infection. A 38-year-old previously healthy male developed severe chest pain and was found to have anterior STEMI and COVID-19 infection. Coronary angiography showed acute thrombotic occlusion of the mid-left anterior descending artery that was managed with thrombectomy and stent placement. He only required supportive care for COVID-19. A comprehensive literature search revealed 34 additional cases of STEMI with synthetic cannabinoid use; majority were males (97%) with mean age of 29 years. 29 patients (85.3%) underwent coronary angiography and majority had left anterior descending artery (LAD) involvement (55%), with 13 (44.8%) undergoing stent placement. We highlight STEMI as a potentially lethal complication of synthetic cannabinoids; prompt angiography may be lifesaving.

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