Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) is a rare but severe congenital cardiac malformation. The prognosis mainly depends on the early and accurate diagnosis and treatment. However, without a typical and specific clinical manifestation in early stage, ALCAPA has a higher rate of false initial diagnosis.Diagnostic and therapeutic procedure:
Three infants with impaired left ventricle (LV) function, LV enlargement, mitral valve regurgitation (MR), and LV endocardium thickness were initially diagnosed as endocardial fibroelastosis (EFE). Due to the treatment effectiveness with prednisone acetate and digoxin, abnormal Q waves with T inversion, and dilated right coronary artery (RCA), the diagnosis of ALCAPA was suspected. Lastly, cardiac angiography confirmed the diagnosis. All of them were transferred to the cardiac surgery department and received a successful surgical repair. The follow-up results showed that abnormal Q waves with T waves inversion on electrocardiogram gradually regressed and disappeared, LV ejection fraction and LV dilation returned to a normal range after surgery, with alleviation of MR. Besides, endocardial thickness secondary to ischemia also returned to normal.Conclusion:
ALCAPA should be suspected when confronted with patients with left heart enlargement, impaired left ventricular function, and signs of myocardial ischemia, particularly in infancy. EFE is an important differential diagnosis and may also arise as a result of ALCAPA. Abnormal Q waves with T waves inversion, particularly in avL, dilated RCA and increased ratio of RCA/AO are important differential key points for the identification of ALCAPA and EFE. Awareness of this condition is essential for prompt recognition and referral to a tertiary cardiac center to enable early surgical intervention and improved prognosis for these children.