Spontaneous coronary artery dissection, which causes acute coronary syndrome and can result in sudden death, is rare; but its true incidence is underestimated, since most patients die suddenly, without diagnosis. The aim of this study was to show the importance of prompt diagnosis and treatment.
In reviewing the records of 5,000 consecutive patients who underwent coronary angiography between January 2001 and August 2006, we found 6 cases of spontaneous coronary artery dissection (an incidence rate of 0.12%). Five patients presented with left main coronary artery dissection and 1 patient, with right coronary artery dissection.
Angioplasty with stenting failed in the patient with right coronary artery dissection. Coronary artery bypass surgery was performed in all patients. The patient with right coronary artery dissection died of sepsis on the 30th postoperative day. The other 5 patients (83.3%) are still free of symptoms, and they had negative results on stress tests at the 6- and 12-month follow-up visits after coronary artery bypass surgery.
The clinical presentation of spontaneous left main coronary artery dissection was similar to that of atherosclerotic disease. However, early diagnosis of spontaneous coronary artery dissection by means of coronary angiography is of paramount importance, because urgent coronary artery bypass grafting can be lifesaving.
Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (CAD), which causes acute coronary syndrome and can result in sudden death, is a rare event. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection has been observed in 3 groups of patients: patients with coronary artery disease, young women during peripartum, and patients with idiopathic disease and no obvious associated factors. The pathogenesis of spontaneous CAD is still unclear.1,2
The clinical presentation of left main coronary artery (LMCA) dissection may be similar to that of a patient with atherosclerotic disease of the LMCA. Early diagnosis and urgent coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is lifesaving in patients with LMCA dissection. In this retrospective study, we present an account of our management of spontaneous CAD, and we review the medical literature in order to investigate the potential causes and optimal treatments of this condition. [ ]