Prevalence of extracoronary vascular abnormalities and fibromuscular dysplasia in patients with spontaneous coronary artery dissection

Am J Cardiol. 2015 Jun 15;115(12):1672-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.03.011. Epub 2015 Mar 23.


Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a cause of acute coronary syndrome, often occurring in young women. The utility of comprehensive imaging and clinical significance of detected vascular abnormalities have yet to be determined. We hypothesized that extracoronary vascular abnormalities (EVAs) are common in SCAD and aimed to study the prevalence and distribution of these findings. We enrolled 115 patients with confirmed SCAD who were evaluated at the Mayo Clinic SCAD Clinic from February 2010 to May 2014 and prospectively underwent comprehensive computed tomography angiography imaging of the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis (SCAD computed tomography angiography protocol, n = 95) or had retrospective review of outside studies (n = 20) including head imaging (n = 40). Follow-up was determined by last clinical visit or study correspondence and included review of recurrent SCAD or myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and death. We reported EVAs in 66% of patients with SCAD, most frequently in the abdomen (36%), pelvis (28%), and neck (27%). Only 1 patient had EVA in the chest (aortic dissection and Marfan's). Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) (exclusively multifocal) was the most common type of EVA (45%). Vascular abnormalities in those with head imaging included intracranial aneurysms (n = 9) and FMD (n = 3). There were no deaths at median follow-up of 21 months (Q1 to Q3 7.7 to 55). The presence of FMD was not associated with SCAD recurrence (relative risk [RR] 1.2; confidence interval [95% CI] 0.60, 2.5), congestive heart failure (RR 0.66; 95% CI 0.20, 2.3), or myocardial infarction (RR 1.34; 95% CI 0.69, 2.6). In conclusion, EVAs including FMD, dissections, aneurysms, and dilation are common in patients with SCAD and occur in a wide anatomic distribution. The presence of EVAs and/or FMD did not correlate with the risk of subsequent clinical events, but future studies with increased power and longer follow-up will be important to further assess the role of EVAs in patients with SCAD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contrast Media
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Vessel Anomalies / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Vessel Anomalies / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Iohexol
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vascular Diseases / congenital*
  • Vascular Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Vascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Vascular Malformations / diagnostic imaging*
  • Vascular Malformations / epidemiology*


  • Contrast Media
  • Iohexol

Supplementary concepts

  • Coronary Artery Dissection, Spontaneous