To clarify the natural history and management of patients with aberrant origin of a coronary artery from the aorta, we reviewed 18 patients whose right (RCA) or left (LCA) coronary artery arose aberrantly and passed between the aorta and right ventricular infundibulum.
Nine patients had aberrant LCA. Three young males died suddenly after exertion, each with proximal focal LCA stenosis. None of the six adults with angina (ages 36-70 years) studied angiographically had proximal LCA stenosis. Unlike the young, "sudden death-prone" patients in whom coronary bypass of proximal stenosis may have prophylactic value, our older patients with aberrant LCA did not have proximal stenosis or sudden death, and therefore LCA bypass for sudden death prophylaxis is not warranted.
Nine patients (ages 18-60 years) had aberrant origin and course of the RCA. Seven patients studied angiographically because of angina had no focal proximal RCA stenosis, but two patients had hypoplastic RCA ostia. Although a potential concern in these latter patients, sudden death has not been reported with aberrant RCA, therefore in the absence of syncope, RCA bypass for sudden death prophylaxis is not indicated.