Objectives: This study examines the distribution patterns and the clinical significance of the "solitary coronary ostium" in the aorta in the absence of other major congenital cardiovascular anomalies.
Background: Ogden in 1970 classified "single coronary artery" into 14 basic distribution patterns. Since then, other patterns of distribution of single coronary artery have been recognized. Distinction has also been made between the cases with and without other major congenital cardiovascular anomalies or coronary artery atresia and those without these additional abnormalities. Single coronary artery has been generally considered to be a benign clinical entity.
Methods: This study describes 10 cases of single coronary artery at necropsy and reviews 87 previously reported cases, 35 diagnosed at necropsy and 52 by coronary angiography.
Results: We classified single coronary artery into 20 categories on the basis of the location of the solitary coronary ostium, the presence or absence of an aberrant-coursing coronary artery and the course taken by the aberrant-coursing coronary artery. When atherosclerotic coronary artery disease was absent, 15% (8 of 53) of the patients reviewed with single coronary artery had myocardial ischemia as a direct consequence of the coronary anomaly.
Conclusions: The anatomic classification presented is useful from both clinical and surgical viewpoints. This comprehensive classification of this rare anomaly facilitates description of the various distribution patterns of single coronary artery and their clinical significance.