104. Nuclear and Multimodality Imaging: Anomalous Coronary Arteries & Myocardial Bridges
CardioNerd Amit Goyal is joined by Dr. Erika Hutt (Cleveland Clinic general cardiology fellow), Dr. Aldo Schenone (Brigham and Women’s advanced cardiovascular imaging fellow), and Dr. Wael Jaber (Cleveland Clinic cardiovascular imaging staff and co-founder of Cardiac Imaging Agora) to discuss nuclear and complimentary multimodality cardiovascular imaging for the evaluation of abnormal coronary anatomy including anomalous coronary arteries and myocardial bridges. Show notes were created by Dr. Hussain Khalid (University of Florida general cardiology fellow and CardioNerds Academy fellow in House Thomas). To learn more about multimodality cardiovascular imaging, check out Cardiac Imaging Agora!
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Show Notes & Take Home Pearls
Five Take Home Pearls
Anomalous coronaries are present in 1-6% of the general population and predominantly involve origins of the right coronary artery (RCA). Anomalous origination of the left coronary artery from the right sinus, although less common, is consistently associated with sudden cardiac death, especially if there is an intramural course. Sudden cardiac death can occur due to several proposed mechanisms: (1) intramural segments pass between the aorta and pulmonary artery making them susceptible to compression as the great vessels dilate during strenuous exercise; (2) an acute angle takeoff of the anomalous coronary can create a “slit-like” ostium making it vulnerable to closure. Anomalous left circumflex arteries are virtually always benign because the path taken behind the great vessels to reach the lateral wall prevents vessel compression.Myocardial bridging (MB) is a congenital anomaly in which a segment of the coronary artery (most commonly, the mid-left anterior descending artery [LAD]) takes an intramuscular course and is “tunneled” under a “bridge” of overlying myocardium. In the vast majority of cases, these are benign. However, a MB >2 mm in depth, >20 mm in length, and a vessel that is totally encased under the myocardium are more likely to be of clinical significance, especially if there is myocardial oxygen supply-demand mismatch such as with tachycardia (reduced diastolic filling time), decreased transmural perfusion gradient (e.g. in myocardial hypertrophy and/or diastolic dysfunction), and endothelial dysfunction resulting in vasospasm.PET offers many benefits over SPECT in functional assessment of MB including the ability to acquire images at peak stress when using dobutamine stress-PET, enhanced spatial resolution, and quantification of absolute myocardial blood flow. For pharmacologic stress in evaluation of MB, we should preferentially use dobutamine over vasodilator stress. Its inotropic and chronotropic effects enhance systolic compression of the vessel, better targeting the pathological mechanisms in pearl 2 above that predispose a MB to being clinically significant.CCTA can help better define the anatomy of MB as well as anomalous origination of the coronary artery from the opposite sinus (ACAOS), help with risk stratification, and assist with surgical planning.Instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR) measures intracoronary pressure of MB during the diastolic “wave-free” period – the period in the cardiac cycle when microvascular resistance is stable and minimized allowing the highest blood flow. This allows a more accurate assessment of a functionally significant dynamic stenosis than fractional flow reserve (FFR) – which can be falsely normal due to systolic overshooting.
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Detailed Show Notes
What are some examples of abnormal coronary anatomies and how often do they lead to clinical events?