Determinants of normal coronary artery dimensions in humans.
BACKGROUND Studies of normal human coronary dimensions have been performed primarily in postmortem hearts. We evaluated the influence of age, body habitus, and regional myocardial mass on coronary dimensions in living patients with normal coronary vessels.
METHODS AND RESULTS Arteriographically normal coronary angiograms were analyzed from the following groups of subjects: group 1 (age, 15-34 years) consisted of 30 post-cardiac transplant patients with donor hearts from male subjects aged 15-34 years, group 2 (age, 35-54 years) consisted of 12 post-cardiac transplant patients with donor hearts from male subjects aged 35-54 years and 26 male subjects investigated for atypical chest pain, and group 3 (age, 55-74 years) consisted of 26 male subjects investigated for atypical chest pain. All angiograms were performed after sublingual nitroglycerin. Measurements of the dimensions of the left main, proximal left anterior descending, proximal left circumflex, and proximal right coronary arteries were made using a computer-assisted edge-detection algorithm. The regional myocardial mass supplied by each vessel was derived from echocardiographically derived total left ventricular mass and a semiquantitative angiographic territory scoring system based primarily on the number and length of its terminal nutrient branches.
CONCLUSIONS Linear regression analysis showed that coronary vessel cross-sectional area and total coronary cross-sectional area increase with regional myocardial mass and decrease linearly with age. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that regional myocardial mass and age were independent predictors of cross-sectional area for each vessel and for the total coronary cross-sectional area. We speculate that age-related decline in physical activity, in part, may be responsible.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association