Author + information
- Received November 8, 1991
- Revision received January 22, 1992
- Accepted February 3, 1992
- Published online September 1, 1992.
- ↵∗Address for correspondence: Renu Virmani, MD, Department of Cardiovascular Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C. 20306-6000.
Objectives and Background. Congenital coronary anomalies are associated with sudden death and exercise-related death. Clarification of the risk and mechanisms of sudden death in patients with coronary anomalies may aid in decisions on intervention.
Methods. The clinicopathologic records of 242 patients with isolated coronary artery anomalies were reviewed for information on mode of death and abnormalities of the initial segment (acute angle takeoff, valvelike ridges or aortic intramural segments) and course of the anomalous coronary artery.
Results. Cardiac death occurred in 142 patients (59%); 78 (32%) of these deaths occurred suddenly. Of sudden deaths, 45% occurred with exercise. Sudden death (28 of 49, 57%) and exercise-related death (18 of 28, 64%) were most common with origin of the left main coronary artery from the right coronary sinus. Anomalous origin of the right coronary artery from the left coronary sinus was also commonly associated with exerciserelated sudden death (6 of 13 sudden deaths, 46%). High risk anatomy involved abnormalities of the initial coronary artery segment or coursing of the anomalous artery between the pulmonary artery and aorta. Younger patients (≤ 30 years old) were significantly more likely than older patients (≥ 30 years old) to die suddenly (62% vs. 12%, p = 0.0001) or during exercise (40% vs. 2%, p = 0.00001) despite their low frequency of significant atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (1% vs. 40%, p = 0.00001).
Conclusions. Younger patients (≤ 30 years old) with an isolated coronary artery anomaly are at risk of dying suddenly and with exercise. Therefore, greater effort for early detection and surgical repair of these lesions is warranted.
☆ The opinions and assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.
- Received November 8, 1991.
- Revision received January 22, 1992.
- Accepted February 3, 1992.