Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is infrequent in individuals with heritable thoracic aortic disease despite partially shared genetic susceptibility

Am J Med Genet A. 2022 May;188(5):1448-1456. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.62661. Epub 2022 Jan 29.


Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a potential precipitant of myocardial infarction and sudden death for which the etiology is poorly understood. Mendelian vascular and connective tissue disorders underlying thoracic aortic disease (TAD), have been reported in ~5% of individuals with SCAD. We therefore hypothesized that patients with TAD are at elevated risk for SCAD. We queried registries enrolling patients with TAD to define the incidence of SCAD. Of 7568 individuals enrolled, 11 (0.15%) were found to have SCAD. Of the sequenced cases (9/11), pathogenic variants were identified (N = 9), including COL3A1 (N = 3), FBN1 (N = 2), TGFBR2 (N = 2), TGFBR1 (N = 1), and PRKG1 (N = 1). Individuals with SCAD had an increased frequency of iliac artery dissection (25.0% vs. 5.1%, p = 0.047). The prevalence of SCAD among individuals with TAD is low. The identification of pathogenic variants in genes previously described in individuals with SCAD, particularly those underlying vascular Ehlers-Danlos, Marfan syndrome, and Loeys-Dietz syndrome, is consistent with prior reports from clinical SCAD series. Further research is needed to identify specific genetic influences on SCAD risk.

Keywords: arterial disease; familial thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection; genetic susceptibility; spontaneous coronary artery dissection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Vessel Anomalies* / epidemiology
  • Coronary Vessel Anomalies* / genetics
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome* / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Loeys-Dietz Syndrome* / complications
  • Loeys-Dietz Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Loeys-Dietz Syndrome* / genetics
  • Risk Factors
  • Vascular Diseases* / congenital
  • Vascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Vascular Diseases* / genetics

Supplementary concepts

  • Coronary Artery Dissection, Spontaneous