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J Invasive Cardiol. 2013 Jul;25(7):E159-62.

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection: a case series highlighting diagnostic challenges and the potential for underestimating the incidence of this presumed rare disorder.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033-0850, USA.


Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an uncommon condition with a variety of clinical presentations. Our knowledge base for SCAD is limited and derives from case reports and retrospective reviews. Several aspects of this disorder, including its rarity, heterogeneity of its presentation, and lack of identification during initial assessment, propose obstacles to reliably secure an accurate diagnosis and consequently we believe that the incidence of this disorder is likely underestimated in the literature. We present a case series of 5 patients with SCAD who exhibit features of this disorder that pose diagnostic challenges and outline the aspects of their history, presentation, and work-up. We propose that this condition is more than rare and may be underestimated; improved awareness of this disorder and associated trends might improve a clinician's index of suspicion and lead to a better diagnostic approach. Case reports and reviews remain vital to our understanding of this disorder and its true prevalence.

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