Heart, Lung and Circulation
Original Article| Volume 27, ISSUE 6, P702-707, June 2018

The Aberrant Coronary Artery – The Management Approach


      An aberrant coronary artery is a rare clinical occurrence with an incidence of 0.05–1.2%. Often it is an incidental finding detected on coronary angiography or at autopsy. However, symptomatic patients can experience angina, arrhythmia, sudden death or non-specific symptoms such as dyspnoea and syncope. At present, there are no guidelines or dedicated studies assessing the treatment of an aberrant coronary artery leaving management options for these patients controversial.


      Selected international cardiothoracic surgeons were surveyed electronically in November 2016 to determine whether consensus exists on different management aspects for patients with an aberrant coronary artery arising from the contralateral sinus with an interarterial course.


      For asymptomatic patients with either an aberrant left main coronary artery (ALMCA) arising from the contralateral sinus or an aberrant right main coronary artery (ARMCA) arising from the contralateral sinus, there was no consensus on surgical correction of the anomaly. If myocardial ischaemia was demonstrated on either coronary angiography with fractional flow reserve measurements and/or stress myocardial perfusion scan, surgical correction was the consensus between the surveyed surgeons. If surgery was deemed appropriate, coronary artery bypass surgery utilising the internal mammary artery was marginally preferred by the respondents in patients with an ALMCA whilst unroofing of the coronary ostium was preferred in patients with an ARMCA. Although no consensus was reached, a large proportion of respondents would not treat a patient over the age of 30 years differently compared to those under 30 years old.


      For symptomatic patients or if myocardial ischaemia is demonstrated on either coronary angiography with fractional flow reserve measurements and/or stress myocardial perfusion scan, surgical correction is indicated.


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