Coronary artery fistulas: Clinical consequences and methods of closure. A literature review

S. Balanescu, G. Sangiorgi, S. Castelvecchio, M. Medda, L. Inglese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coronary fistulas are uncommon anomalies of congenital and rarely iatrogenic etiology. Their clinical significance is mainly dependent on the severity of the left-to-right shunt they are responsible for. Symptoms, high-flow shunting and the occurrence of complications, only partially related to the magnitude of the shunt, are the main indications for their closure, especially in the adult population. Pediatric patients, even asymptomatic but presenting with electrocardiographic or chest X-ray abnormalities, should be treated in order to avoid the long-term complications related to the presence of the fistula. Treatment of adult asymptomatic patients with non-significant shunting is still a matter of debate. Surgery and direct epicardial or endocardial ligation were traditionally viewed as the main therapeutic method for the closure of coronary fistulas. Progress in the techniques of endoluminal intervention has led to fistula embolization using different devices including coils, balloons and chemicals. The success rate is good and the procedure-related morbidity acceptable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-676
Number of pages8
JournalItalian Heart Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Cardiac surgery
  • Coronary fistula
  • Endoluminal intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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