Acute myocardial infarction, associated with the use of a synthetic adamantyl-cannabinoid: A case report

Graham McIlroy*, Loretta Ford, Jawad M. Khan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Background: "Legal highs" are novel psychoactive substances that have evaded statutory control. Synthetic cannabinoid compounds with adamantane moieties have recently been identified, which have high potency at target receptors and are undetectable on conventional toxicology testing. However, little is known about any harmful effects, and their potential to cause serious ill health. We describe a case of myocardial infarction following the use of this class of drug. Case presentation: We report the case of a 39-year-old man admitted after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, in whom ECG and elevated cardiac enzymes confirmed ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Normal coronary perfusion was restored after thrombectomy and coronary artery stenting. In the hours preceding his admission, the patient is known to have consumed the legal high product "Black Mamba". Subsequent urine testing confirmed the presence of an adamantyl-group synthetic cannabinoid, whilst cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines and other drugs of abuse were not detected. Conclusion: The use of legal highs is being increasingly recognised, but the chemical compositions and physiological effects of these drugs are poorly characterised and are continually changing. Synthetic cannabinoids, rarely identified on toxicological testing, can be linked to serious adverse cardiovascular events. This case highlights the importance of testing for novel psychoactive compounds, and recognising their potential to cause life-threatening conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalBMC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 McIlroy et al.


  • Myocardial infarction
  • Novel psychoactive compounds
  • Synthetic cannabinoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute myocardial infarction, associated with the use of a synthetic adamantyl-cannabinoid: A case report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this