TOHOKU JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE, vol.225, no.4, pp.239-247, 2011 (SCI-Expanded)
Coronary artery anomalies are rarely encountered in general population. Gender may play a role in the types and incidence of coronary artery anomalies, although the effect of gender is not well established. In the present study, we therefore aimed to investigate the frequency and location of various types of coronary artery anomalies and their correlation with gender. We assessed retrospectively the coronary angiography movies of 7,810 patients (2,214 females and 5,596 males), the method of which is distinct from the earlier studies with angiographic archive records. We defined and classified the coronary artery anomalies according to their origin, course (myocardial bridge), and termination (fistula). The incidence of coronary artery anomalies was 3.35% (262 of 7,810): 130 individuals with anomalous origin (1.66%), 105 individuals with myocardial bridges (1.34%), and 27 with fistulas (0.35%). The frequency of the coronary artery anomalies was significantly higher in the females than the males (p = 0.001). Of the coronary artery origin anomalies, the circumflex and the left anterior descending artery originating from separate ostia in the left aortic sinus were higher in the females compared to the males (P < 0.001). In contrast, the frequency of myocardial bridges was higher in the males (P = 0.01). No gender difference was detected in fistulas. Thus, gender affects the types of coronary artery anomalies, except for fistulas. The determination of the presence of the coronary artery anomalies during the coronary angiography is critical for the planning of the treatment and for the proper clinical follow-up of patients.