Background: Anomalous coronary arteries (ACAs) are rare but potentially life-threatening abnormalities of coronary circulation. Most variations are benign; however, some may lead to myocardial ischemia and/or sudden cardiac arrest.
Case report: We present the case of a patient with a significant medical history of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and gastroesophageal reflux disease who presented to the emergency department with atypical chest pain. She underwent a cardiac catheterization that showed an anomalous right coronary artery originating near the anterior left coronary artery sinus and coursing between the pulmonary artery and aorta. The patient was deemed a poor surgical candidate, was discharged home on medical management with beta blocker therapy, and was instructed to restrict her physical activity.
Conclusion: Treatment of significant anomalies should be guided by the nature of the anomalous vessel. Symptomatic patients with ACAs have 3 treatment options: medical management, coronary angioplasty and stent deployment, or surgical correction. These treatment options remain controversial. Some clinicians advocate revascularization, but the long-term benefits of revascularization therapies have not yet been demonstrated.
Keywords: Coronary artery disease; coronary circulation.