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Vet Pathol. 2008 Sep;45(5):634-9. doi: 10.1354/vp.45-5-634.

Anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) in four calves.

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University of Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center, Pathology, 1490 Bull Lea Road, Lexington, KY 40512 (USA).


Anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA), or Bland-White-Garland syndrome, is a rare congenital malformation described in children and adults. In this condition, the left coronary artery, which normally originates from the left coronary sinus in the aorta, instead originates from the pulmonary trunk, which results in retrograde flow of blood away from the myocardium into the lower-pressure pulmonary artery. Myocardial hypoxic-ischemic injury results in cardiac dysfunction, failure, and eventually in patient death if not surgically repaired. This report describes gross and microscopic findings in 4 beef calves with ALCAPA. All the calves had a history of being found dead with few or no premonitory signs, 2 shortly after sudden strenuous exercise. Gross necropsy lesions suggestive of heart failure included cardiomegaly with atrial and ventricular dilation and/or ventricular hypertrophy, and hepatomegaly. Dissection of each heart revealed the origin of the left coronary artery arising in the pulmonary trunk above the anterior cusp of the pulmonic valve. No degeneration; mineralization; and fiber loss, with replacement by fibrous connective tissue, predominantly in the left ventricular papillary muscle and the interventricular septum. Changes observed in the liver and lungs, including hepatomegaly, sinusoidal congestion, centrilobular fibrosis, and pulmonary congestion, edema, and intra-alveolar pigment-laden macrophages were consistent with heart failure.

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