Case report of an acute myocardial infarction after high-dos
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Nitrous oxide (N2O, laughing gas) is increasingly used as a recreational drug and is presumed relatively safe and innocent. It is often being used in combination with other substances, such as cannabis.

A young adult attended the emergency room because of chest pain after recreational use of very high-dose nitrous oxide in combination with cannabis. Electrocardiography demonstrated ST-elevation in the anterior leads. Coronary angiography showed thrombus in the proximal and thrombotic occlusion of the distal left anterior descending coronary artery for which primary percutaneous coronary intervention was attempted.

Thrombus aspiration was unsuccessful and the patient was further treated with a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa in addition to dual platelet therapy. Blood results showed low vitamin B12 and folic acid status with concomitant hyperhomocysteinaemia, a known cause of hypercoagulation. Transthoracic echocardiogram showed a moderately reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). Three months later, an improvement in LVEF and no recurrent angina or symptoms of heart failure were noticed.

Authors report a case of acute myocardial infarction secondary to very high-dose nitrous oxide abuse in combination with cannabis and possible hypoxia. Authors propose that severe hyperhomocysteinaemia secondary to nitrous oxide-induced vitamin B12 deficiency together with the vasoconstrictive effects of cannabis might pose a seriously increased risk for intracoronary, among others, thrombus formation. In conclusion, we contest the safety and innocence of recreational nitrous oxide (ab)use, notably in the context of other factors increasing the risk of coagulation.