Methylphenidate (MPH) is an indirect-acting sympathomimetic drug and structurally related to amphetamine. It is widely used to treat children aged 6 years and older, as well as adolescents who have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We report on a 6-year-old boy who presented with typical angina symptoms occurring several hours after intake of an increased dose of MPH, which had been initiated for ADHD treatment 2 days earlier. Despite typical angina symptoms, the diagnosis of myocardial infarction due to spontaneous coronary artery dissection of the right coronary artery was delayed. Most epidemiological studies could not detect an increased risk for cardiovascular events in association with ADHD medications. However, the direct temporal relationship in our case indicates the possibility that MPH may trigger spontaneous coronary artery dissection in predisposed patients. Since myocardial infarction in children is rare but comprises various etiologies, awareness of this possible catastrophic event among medical staff may be lower and may delay immediate life-saving diagnostic and therapeutic measures.
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The authors would like to thank Siobhan O’Leary for English editing assistance.
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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Stammschulte, T., Pitzer, M., Rascher, W. et al. Acute myocardial infarction due to spontaneous coronary artery dissection in a 6-year-old boy with ADHD on the third day of treatment with methylphenidate. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-021-01729-2
- Myocardial infarction
- Spontaneous coronary artery dissection
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Adverse drug reaction