Anomalous coronary arteries arising from the aorta associated with sudden death in infancy and early childhood. An autopsy series

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1991 Aug;115(8):770-3.


Anomalous coronary arteries arising from the aorta are a recognized cause of myocardial ischemia and sudden death. Death has been precipitated by exercise in most cases. We present the results of an autopsy study in which sudden and unexpected deaths associated with coronary anomalies were found in three children (less than 2 years of age). In two cases, death was not associated with exercise. In two case, the myocardium was morphologically normal, and in the third case, there was an extensive recent anterior myocardial infarct with a background of established fibrosis. Coronary artery anomalies may be easily overlooked in this age group because of small vessel size and difficulty in dissection; this is particularly so when there are normally placed ostia. One consequence of this is potential for confusion with sudden infant death syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aorta / abnormalities*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / mortality
  • Cause of Death
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coronary Vessel Anomalies / complications*
  • Coronary Vessel Anomalies / pathology
  • Death, Sudden / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Sudden Infant Death / etiology