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Z Kardiol. 1998 Dec;87(12):961-70.

[Prospective study of the incidence, pathogenesis and therapy of spontaneous, by coronary angiography diagnosed coronary artery dissection].

[Article in German]

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Mediz. Klinik II-Kardiologie und Pulmologie, Universitätsklinikum Benjamin Franklin, Freie Universität Berlin.


Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is a rare cause of ischemic heart disease. Incidence, etiology and optimal treatment are ill-defined. Between July 1995 and December 1997, we prospectively identified 42 patients (36 men, six women, mean age 59 +/- 12 years) with spontaneous coronary artery dissection among 3803 consecutive angiographic examinations in which the diagnosis of coronary artery disease was established for the first time (incidence 1.1%). In comparison to the remaining study population with stable angina pectoris (8 cases of spontaneous coronary artery dissection among 2852 patients; incidence: 0.3%), the incidence of spontaneous coronary artery dissection was significantly higher in the patient subgroups with acute myocardial infarction (13/450; 2.9%) and with unstable angina pectoris or postinfarction angina (21/501; 4.2%). Dissection was most frequently located in the left anterior descending coronary artery (19 cases), followed by the right coronary artery (15 cases) and the left circumflex coronary artery (8 cases). Because of an ambiguous angiographic lesion appearance intravascular ultrasound imaging was performed in 13 patients to confirm the diagnosis. The presumed etiology of spontaneous coronary artery dissection was atherosclerotic plaque rupture in 35 cases, heavy physical exercise in four cases and hormonal influences related to pregnancy and contraception in one case. In two cases, no obvious risk factor could be identified. Therapy consisted of intracoronary stenting in 24 patients (including ten patients with acute myocardial infarction), coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in 8 patients and balloon angioplasty (PTCA) in seven patients. Three patients were treated conservatively. During a mean follow-up period of 13.5 +/- 9.9 months, two patients died and 31 patients remained entirely asymptomatic, including all patients who were treated with CABG. Restenosis developed in three patients after stent implantation (restenosis rate: 12.5%). Following primary PTCA, spontaneous coronary artery dissection recurred in two patients, one of whom subsequently died.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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