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Coronary artery anomalies overview: The normal and the abnormal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adriana Dm Villa, Eva Sammut, Arjun Nair, Ronak Rajani, Rodolfo Bonamini, Amedeo Chiribiri

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-55
Number of pages19
JournalWorld journal of radiology
Issue number6
Early online date28 Jun 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jun 2016


King's Authors


The aim of this review is to give a comprehensive and concise overview of coronary embryology and normal coronary anatomy, describe common variants of normal and summarize typical patterns of anomalous coronary artery anatomy. Extensive iconography supports the text, with particular attention to images obtained in vivo using non-invasive imaging. We have divided this article into three groups, according to their frequency in the general population: Normal, normal variant and anomaly. Although congenital coronary artery anomalies are relatively uncommon, they are the second most common cause of sudden cardiac death among young athletes and therefore warrant detailed review. Based on the functional relevance of each abnormality, coronary artery anomalies can be classified as anomalies with obligatory ischemia, without ischemia or with exceptional ischemia. The clinical symptoms may include chest pain, dyspnea, palpitations, syncope, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death. Moreover, it is important to also identify variants and anomalies without clinical relevance in their own right as complications during surgery or angioplasty can occur.

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