Congenital Communication of a Coronary Artery with a Cardiac Chamber or the Pulmonary Trunk ("Coronary Artery Fistula")
Anatomic, clinical, hemodynamic, and roentgenographic findings in six patients with congenital communication of a coronary artery with a cardiac chamber or the pulmonary trunk are presented. The literature is reviewed.
A coronary artery may communicate anomalously, with any of the cardiac chambers, more commonly with those on the right side. In the six cases presented, the right coronary artery communicated with the right atrium in one case and with the right ventricle in another. The left coronary artery communicated with the right atrium and right ventricle in one case each, and with the pulmonary trunk in two cases.
The most striking feature observed clinically was a continuous murmur. If a continous murmur is localized in an area atypical for patent ductus arteriosus, the diagnosis should be suspected. Conventional roentgenographic and electrocardiographic studies yielded no specific diagnostic features. The results of cardiac catheterization may reveal a left-to-right shunt, but they are diagnostically useful only when correlated with clinical findings.
The only precise method of demonstrating the abnormality is by means of selective aortography performed by injecting medium into the very origin of the aorta.
Cure is possible by surgical interruption of the fistulous tract.
- © 1961 American Heart Association, Inc.