Aims: Although anomalous origin of left (AOLCA) and right coronary artery (AORCA) from the wrong sinus may cause sudden death (SD) in athletes, early diagnosis and management of these anomalies are still challenging. We analysed clinical/instrumental profiles of athletes identified with AOLCA/AORCA focusing our attention on diagnosis, management and follow-up. Methods and results: Wereport 23 athletes (17males,mean age 27±17 yrs.), 6 with AOLCA and 17 with AORCA. Diagnosis was made by trans-thoracic echocardiography (TTE) in 21/23(91%). Symptoms were present only in 10(41%). Only 3 had an abnormal rest-ECG and 9(39%) an abnormal stress test ECG (3 ST-depression, 4 ventricular arrhythmias, 1 supraventricular arrhythmias, 1 rate-dependent left-bundle-branch-block). Anatomy of the anomalous coronary artery showed no significant correlation with clinical presentation, except for a tendency to higher occurrence of proximal hypoplasia in symptomatic athletes (83% vs 40%, p = 0.09). All athletes were disqualified from competitive-sports and advised to avoid strenuous effort. Surgery was recommended to all athletes with AOLCA and 6 with AORCA, but only 6 underwent surgery. No major cardiac events or ischemic symptoms/signs occurred during a mean follow-up of 65 ± 70 months. Conclusions: Early diagnosis ofAOLCA/AORCA in athletes is feasible by TTE. Typical symptoms/signs ofmyocardial ischemia are present only in one third of cases thus underlying the need of a high index of clinical suspicion to achieve the diagnosis. After exercise restriction, none had major cardiac events or ischemia symptoms/signs recurrence. There was no correlation between anatomical characteristics and clinical presentation with the possible exception of coronary hypoplasia.
- Congenital coronary anomalies
- Sports eligibility