Coronary arteries in transposition of the great arteries

Am J Cardiol. 1994 Nov 15;74(10):1037-41. doi: 10.1016/0002-9149(94)90855-9.


The topic of coronary arteries in transposition of the great arteries (TGA) is complex and confusing despite having been the subject of several recently published reports. One hundred thirty-three autopsy specimens of uncomplicated TGA were studied, with special attention to methodologic issues in anatomic description and classification. Uncomplicated TGA was defined as congenital anomaly involving origin of the aorta from the right ventricle and of the pulmonary artery from the left ventricle. Three types of transposition were recognized ("anterior aorta," "side-by-side," and "posterior aorta") depending on the aortopulmonary relations, which were intrinsically defined by the relation of the valvular orifices of the great arteries with respect to the atrioventricular orifices. The frequency of distribution of individual coronary patterns differs substantially in the first 2 types of TGA. As in normal hearts, coronary arteries in TGA tend to originate from the facing sinuses (adjacent to the pulmonary valve); in TGA, however, variations in further distal anatomy are much more frequent. It is suggested that individual coronary patterns be described in terms of number of ostia, exact ostial location within or outside the aortic sinuses, and proximal course and distribution. The use of strict, simplified classifications of coronary patterns is discouraging because of the relevance of each individual anatomic parameter to clinical aims. Because of the aortopulmonary switch repair for TGA, this study emphasizes the surgical implications of the different coronary features.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autopsy
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Transposition of Great Vessels / classification*
  • Transposition of Great Vessels / pathology