Incidence of congenital anomalies of the coronary arteries in embalmed cadavers

Author(s): M. Alejandra Garretano, Santiago Cubas, Leticia Vazquez, Andres Berke, Eduardo Olivera

Introduction: Coronary anomalies, whose incidence is 0.17% to 1.5%, are relevant since they can debut as sudden cardiac death and can determine technical difficulties in interventional procedures such as coronary angiography. This prompted the following study, whose objective is to determine the incidence of anomalies and anatomical variants in the origin and proximal course of the coronary arteries, in a cadaveric population.

Materials and methods: 81 hearts were dissected from adult cadavers, of both sexes, previously fixed and preserved in a 10% formaldehyde-based solution. Once the heart was released, the identification and subsequent dissection of the coronary arteries and coronary ostia were carried out. The following data were recorded: Number of ostiums, aortic sinus where said ostiums are located, artery that gives origin, route and direction of the same. The data were recorded in tables for later analysis.

Results: Of the total of 81 dissected hearts, 45 (55.6%) presented “classic” coronary arteries in origin and proximal path and 36 (44.4%) presented normal anatomical variants and coronary anomalies.

Conclusion: Knowledge of coronary anomalies is of the utmost importance, given that between 20% to 90% present with sudden cardiac death, given that when it comes to performing interventional procedures, their ignorance may determine an increase in the duration of the procedures with greater contrast input and radiation exposure for the patient, and in cardiac surgery during de infusion of cardioplegia directly by coronary ostiums.