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Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2007 Apr 1;69(5):711-8.

Origin of all three major coronary arteries from the right sinus of Valsalva: clinical, angiographic, and magnetic resonance imaging findings and incidence in a select referral population.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Disease, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.



We sought to determine the incidence and imaging features by coronary angiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of anomalies in which the right, circumflex, and left anterior descending coronary arteries arise separately from the right sinus of Valsalva.


The anomalous origin of all major coronary arteries from separate ostia in the right sinus of Valsalva has been reported as exceedingly rare, with mainly isolated cases reported. A knowledge of the origin and proximal courses of aberrant arteries is critical for patient management.


42 consecutive patients without other congenital heart disease referred to our institution for MRI evaluation of anomalous coronary artery over a six year period were evaluated. Analysis of angiograms and MRI was done to determine the anatomic origin and proximal pathway of coronary arteries (determined by conventional angiography and MRI) and degree of any stenosis (by angiography).


Seven of the 42 patients (17%) in this referral population had the described anatomy. Both conventional angiography and MRI depicted the origin and proximal courses of these arteries. In all patients, the circumflex passed behind the aorta. In three, the left anterior descending passed through the ventricular septum; in four, it passed anterior to the pulmonary trunk.


This series is the largest ever reported on this complex anatomical variant and the first to give a systematic analysis of the anatomy by angiography and MRI. This constellation of multiple anomalous coronary arterial origins and proximal courses may not be as rare as previously reported.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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