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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2001 June;49(3):165-8


language: Italian

Coronary artery anomalies: is there a relationship?

Rigatelli Gl., Gemelli M., Franco G., Bolomini L., Docali G., Rigatelli G.


Background. It has been suggested that in coronary anomalies the turbulence of the flow might develop atherosclerosis, but this theory remains controversial. The relationship between coronary anomalies and coronary artery disease have been studied.
Methods. Twenty-five patients [15 males, 10 females (mean age 75±1.4 years)] with coronary anomalies at coronary angiography were enrolled in a prospective study. Thirteen patients out of 25 (group 1) had critical coronary artery disease (>50% of reduction in luminal diameter). The anomalous vessels passing intramyocardial or between aorta and pulmonary veins were excluded. Twelve patients out of 25 had no sign of atherosclerosis (group 2). At clinical and instrumental follow-up (54±8.4 months) the number of cardiovascular events (acute myocardial infarct, unstable angina, silent ischemia, bypass or PTCA interventions, cardiovascular death) was evaluated in the two groups.
Results. Age and ejection fraction value were no statistically different in the two groups. Risk factors were significantly (p<0.04) higher in group 1 (smoke, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes). The patients number with cardiovascular events was significantly higher in group 1(11 patients vs 2) confirming the independence of the two phenomena. No correlation was found between presence of risk factors and presence of events.
A correlation (r=0.70) was found only between previous coronary artery disease and number of events.
Conclusions. No relationship between coronary anomalies and coronary artery disease seems to be confirmed. The real relevance of flow turbulence in the development of atherosclerosis in coronary anomalies needs to be still confirmed.

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