Cardiovascular disease associated with methamphetamine use: a review

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Heart failure reviews


Methamphetamine abuse is a global epidemic associated with a wide-ranging array of adverse effects on the cardiovascular system including dilated cardiomyopathy, malignant and benign arrhythmias, coronary vasospasm, and atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. While the acute behavioral manifestations of amphetamine abuse are the most easily clinically identified, cardiovascular toxicity is common in this patient population and should be considered in this setting due to its high morbidity and mortality. The specific mechanisms for amphetamine cardiotoxicity have not been fully established, but new research implicates activation of several cellular targets including Sigma-1 receptors and trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) leading to a myriad of negative downstream effects including increased reactive oxygenating species (ROS), mitochondrial dysfunction, and modulations of intracellular calcium. Additional pathologic effects are mediated by increased circulating catecholamines, which when chronically activated have well-established adverse effects on the cardiovascular system. In this article, we present a case report followed by a current review of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment modalities of amphetamine-induced cardiovascular disease.


Jared Tobolski, MD- Fellow