Coronary artery ectasia: a ten-year experience in a tertiary hospital in Singapore

Ann Acad Med Singap. 2004 Jul;33(4):419-22.


Introduction: Coronary artery ectasia (CAE) is a well-recognised, albeit rare, angiographic finding of abnormal coronary dilatation. To our best knowledge, its incidence has never been described in Singapore. We aimed to determine the incidence of CAE at our teaching hospital and to describe patient and angiographic characteristics.

Materials and methods: Cases were identified through a search of our hospital's computer database and all records were reviewed.

Results: Over the 10-year study period (1992-2001), 8641 patients underwent coronary angiography. CAE was diagnosed in 104 patients, giving an incidence of 1.2%. The majority (74%) were male. The median age was 54 years (range, 25 to 79 years). Sixty-six per cent of patients were Chinese, 19% Malays, 12% Indians and 3% other races. Concomitant diabetes mellitus was present in 31%, hypertension in 58% and dyslipidaemia in 63% of patients. Co-existent obstructive coronary artery disease was present in 82% of cases. The frequency of arterial involvement was: right coronary artery (RCA), 65%; left anterior descending artery (LAD), 48%; circumflex artery (CX), 43%; and left main artery (LM), 2%. CAE affected only 1 major vessel in 62% of cases and all 3 vessels in 20%. Eighteen patients were advised to undergo bypass surgery, while percutaneous coronary intervention was recommended in 26 patients.

Conclusions: The incidence of ectasia was 1.2%. The majority of patients were males in their sixth decade with underlying dyslipidaemia or hypertension. CAE was associated with obstructive coronary artery disease in more than 80% of cases. The RCA was most commonly affected and most patients had single vessel involvement.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Bypass
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology*
  • Dilatation, Pathologic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Singapore