Myocardial bridges: A meta-analysis

Clin Anat. 2021 Jul;34(5):685-709. doi: 10.1002/ca.23697. Epub 2021 Feb 22.


Myocardial bridges are anatomical entities characterized by myocardium covering segments of coronary arteries. In some patients, the presence of a myocardial bridge is benign and is only incidentally found on autopsy. In other patients, however, myocardial bridges can lead to compression of the coronary artery during systolic contraction and delayed diastolic relaxation, resulting in myocardial ischemia. This ischemia in turn can lead to myocardial infarction, ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Myocardial bridges have also been linked to an increased incidence of atherosclerosis, which has been attributed to increased shear stress and the presence of vasoactive factors. Other studies however, demonstrated the protective roles of myocardial bridges. In this study, using systematic review and a meta-analytical approach we investigate the prevalence and morphology of myocardial bridges in both clinical imaging and cadaveric dissections. We also discuss the pathophysiology, clinical significance, and management of these anatomical entities.

Keywords: blood vessel; cardiovascular; disease; heart; myocardial bridging; pathology; stenosis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadaver
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Bridging* / complications
  • Myocardial Bridging* / diagnostic imaging
  • Myocardial Bridging* / epidemiology
  • Prevalence