Incidence and clinical relevance of primary congenital anomalies of the coronary arteries in children and adults

Giulia Tuo, Maurizio Marasini, Claudio Brunelli, Lucio Zannini, Manrico Balbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives To describe our experience in the management of coronary artery anomalies both in an adult and in a paediatric population and to compare the two groups for finding out differences in terms of angiographic incidence and treatment. Patients and methods Databases at the Department of Cardiology of San Martino Adult's Hospital and of Gaslini Children's Hospital were searched for all patients with a diagnosis of coronary artery anomaly who underwent coronary angiography between 1994 and 2006. Results Coronary anomalies were diagnosed in 76 (1%) adult patients. Anomalous left circumflex artery was the commonest coronary anomaly (25%). Anomalous left coronary artery from pulmonary artery and myocardial bridges were the only anomalies responsible for angina-like symptoms. No patients except the one with anomalous left coronary artery from pulmonary artery needed surgical intervention. In the paediatric population, we found 28 (0.9%) patients with coronary anomalies. Anomalous left coronary artery from pulmonary artery was the most common anomaly (48%) and always required emergency surgical treatment; in addition there were two patients with stenosis of the left main coronary artery. Conclusion Coronary artery anomalies may be associated with very acute, even life-threatening symptoms in children, whereas they are usually clinically silent and detected by accident on coronary angiography in adults. Recognition of coronary artery anomalies enables early treatment or close follow-up in children, whereas it could be useful in case of cardiac surgery in adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-386
Number of pages6
JournalCardiology in the Young
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013



  • Congenital defects
  • coronary arteriography
  • echocardiography
  • sudden death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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