Prospective evaluation of the coronary sinus anatomy in patients undergoing electrophysiologic study

Christian Weiss, Riccardo Cappato, Stephan Willems, Thomas Meinertz, Karl Heinz Kuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Previous retrospective studies could find a predominant incidence of coronary sinus (CS) anomalies in patients with accessory pathways and a characteristic anatomy of the CS ostium in patients with atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardias (AVNRT). Hypothesis: In the present prospective study, CS angiograms were prospectively performed to analyze the incidence of CS anomalies and to measure the diameters of the CS ostium. Methods: The study included patients referred for electrophysiologic study and catheter ablation of various tachyarrhythmias. The anatomy of the CS and its side branches was visualized [left anterior oblique (LAO) 30°, right anterior oblique (RAO) 30°] by retrograde angiography in 204 consecutive patients (82 women, 122 men, age 45 ± 15 years); of these, 120 presented with 123 accessory pathways (45 left-sided, 33 right-sided, 45 septal). The diagnosis in the remaining patients was atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia in 43 cases, atrial tachycardia or atrial fibrillation in 12, and ventricular tachycardia in 15. In 14 patients, the indication for the eletrophysiologic study was an unexplained syncope. The CS angiogram was evaluated for anomalies and the size of the CS ostium was manually measured in both projections. Results: Anomalies of the CS defined as diverticula, persistent left superior vena cava, or enlarged CS ostia were found in 18 patients (9%). Of those, CS diverticula were found in nine patients, all with a posteroseptal or left posterior manifest accessory pathway, which was abolished within the neck of the diverticulum in seven patients and at the posteroseptal tricuspid annulus in two patients. Persistence of the left superior vena cava was found in five patients, four had atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia secondary to five accessory pathways (left free wall in four, right midseptal in one), and one patient had atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT). Enlargement of the CS ostium of > 25 mm width was detected in nine patients (5%), of whom four had AVNRT. However, the width of the CS ostium generally did not differ significantly between patients with AVNRT (LAO: 14.4 ± 5.6; RAO 9.3 ± 2.4 mm) compared with the control group (LAO 13.4 ± 4.1; 8.2 ± 1.9 mm). Conclusions: Anomalies of the CS as diverticula, persistent superior vena cava, or enlargement of the CS ostium are predominantly found in patients with accessory pathway-related tachycardias. Diverticula of the proximal CS were found in 7% of patients with accessory pathways; in these cases, ablation succeeded mostly by radiofrequency (RF) current delivery in the neck of the diverticulum. Enlargement of the CS ostium was more often seen in patients with AVNRT than in all other patients. However, in general the measurements of the coronary sinus ostium did not significantly differ in patients with AVNRT compared with the control group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-543
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Angiography
  • Catheter ablation
  • Coronary sinus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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