I Was Told I Have Anomalous Coronary Arteries. What Does That Mean And Is It Important?

Question: I was told I have anomalous coronary Arteries. what does that mean and is it important?

Answer: Coronary anomaly refers to the location of a coronary artery. In general, most patients have coronary arteries that occur in the same location, and they're very easy for us to find in the cath lab with our catheter techniques.

There are very rare cases where the coronaries might arise in an anomalous origin, and usually that's not of any particular concern to the patient. It just makes our life more difficult in terms of finding the blockage, or finding the artery and treating it if it needs a stent. It's more technically challenging to us.

Now, there are some very, very rare cases where a coronary anomaly might cross over a particular blood vessel, and during exercise may potentially be squeezed, and if it is being squeezed with a lot of exercise, that patient might be at risk of what we call sudden death, where they could drop dead from vigorous exercise.

That is extremely uncommon, and in that particular situation, the physician might recommend having a open heart surgery procedure to create a bypass graft to that particular vessel.

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