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BACKGROUND: Anomalous origin of the left circumflex coronary artery from the right sinus of Valsalva or proximal right coronary artery is the most common congenital coronary anatomical abnormality. Whether such vessels are particularly predisposed to atherosclerotic disease in their proximal portion remains controversial. Successful balloon angioplasty has been described, but thus far only six isolated cases of stent deployment in anomalous circumflex vessels have been described in the interventional literature. METHODS: Single-center retrospective case study of twenty-two patients with anomalous circumflex coronary arteries. Twelve patients (11/12 male, average age (63 +/- 3) years) underwent successful percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with stent deployment in the retroaortic segment of the anomalous vessel. RESULTS: Significant obstructive coronary disease in the retroaortic portion was found in the majority of anomalous left circumflex vessels (16/22, 73%), but did not predict the presence of significant two or three vessel coronary disease (P = 0.14, 0.63). PCI was successful in all cases attempted, with favourable short/medium-term event-free survival. CONCLUSIONS: The retroaortic portion of anomalously-arising circumflex coronary arteries is selectively predisposed to atherosclerotic disease. PCI to these vessels is feasible but may be technically challenging.

Original publication




Journal article


Catheter Cardiovasc Interv

Publication Date





882 - 890


Aged, Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary, Coronary Angiography, Coronary Artery Disease, Coronary Stenosis, Coronary Vessel Anomalies, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Retrospective Studies, Stents, Treatment Outcome