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CARDIAC Table of Contents   
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 126-127
Images: Malignant right coronary artery - 64-slice CTA


1 Department of Radiology, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bommasandra Industrial Area, Bangalore, India
2 Teleradiology Solutions, Plot No. 7G, Opp. Graphite and Department of Radiology, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore, India

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How to cite this article:
Rama Krishnan R S, Marwah VV, Gupta T, Kalyanpur A. Images: Malignant right coronary artery - 64-slice CTA. Indian J Radiol Imaging 2008;18:126-7

How to cite this URL:
Rama Krishnan R S, Marwah VV, Gupta T, Kalyanpur A. Images: Malignant right coronary artery - 64-slice CTA. Indian J Radiol Imaging [serial online] 2008 [cited 2019 Sep 15];18:126-7. Available from: http://www.ijri.org/text.asp?2008/18/2/126/40293

   Case History Top


An asymptomatic 48-year-old man came to our institute for routine cardiac evaluation. Electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, and treadmill exercise testing were within normal limits. The patient opted for a CT angiogram (CTA) of the coronary arteries and was subsequently referred to our department. The angiogram was performed on a Light speed VCT (Wipro GE, Bangalore) using a standard protocol.

The study revealed an anomalous right coronary artery (RCA) originating from the left coronary sinus and coursing between the aortic root and main pulmonary artery [Figure - 1]. Narrowing of the proximal RCA was seen [Figure - 2],[Figure - 3] as it passed between the aorta and the right ventricular outflow tract.


   Discussion Top


The findings described above are characteristic of a malignant RCA. It is called "malignant" because the RCA can undergo compression between the aorta and the pulmonary trunk, especially during exercise, and this carries the risk of sudden cardiac death. [1]

Coronary artery anomalies occur in about 1% of patients undergoing cardiac catheterization. Approximately 20% of coronary artery anomalies produce life-threatening symptoms, such as arrhythmias and syncope, or may cause myocardial infarction or sudden death. [2] In particular, an anomalous vessel that crosses between the aorta and the main pulmonary artery, either a left coronary artery originating from the right sinus or a RCA emanating from left sinus, may be associated with a poorer outcome. [3] The causes of ischemia in patients with anomalous origins of the RCA may include: 1) narrowing of a slit-like, small ostium; 2) intramural course of the proximal portion of the RCA, within the aortic wall; in addition to 3) compression of the RCA as it courses between the pulmonary artery and the ascending aorta; 4) kinking and bending of the anomalous RCA; and 5) spasm of the proximal portion of the RCA. [3]

At catheter angiography, the precise course of the anomalous vessel may be difficult to delineate, because its complex three-dimensional geometry is displayed in two dimensions fluoroscopically. [2] Difficulties with catheter engagement of the anomalous vessel can lead to the erroneous assumption that the vessel is occluded. [3]

Multi-detector CT (MDCT) with its cross-sectional imaging capability is a viable noninvasive modality for delineating coronary artery anomalies, particularly if findings at coronary angiography are equivocal. [3] MDCT is rapidly emerging as a credible alternative for the visualization of coronary anomalies. [4] The drawbacks of this technique include the need for intravenous infusion of contrast agent and exposure to ionizing radiation. [5]

 
   References Top

1.Katoh M, Wildberger JE, GŁnther RW, Buecker A. Malignant right coronary artery anomaly simulated by motion artifacts on MDCT. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2005;185:1007-10.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Datta J, White CS, Gilkeson RC, Meyer CA, Kansal S, Jani ML, et al . Anomalous coronary arteries in adults: Depiction at multi-detector row CT angiography. Radiology 2005;235:812-8.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
3.Hague C, Andrews G, Forster B. MDCT of a malignant anomalous right coronary artery. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2004;182:617-8.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
4.Gulati GS, Singh C, Kothari SS, Sharma S. An unusual coronary artery anomaly in tetralogy of fallot shown on MDCT. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2006;186:1192-3.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
5.Post JC, van Rossum AC, Bronzwaer JG, de Cock CC, Hofman MB, Valk J, et al . Magnetic resonance angiography of anomalous ≠coronary arteries. Circulation 1995;92:3163-71.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]

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Correspondence Address:
R S Rama Krishnan
Department of Radiology, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bommasandra Industrial Area, Bangalore - 560 099
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-3026.40293

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    Figures

  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3]



 

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