Coronary artery tortuosity: a narrative review.
Coronary artery tortuosity (CAT) is a prevalent angiographic finding commonly associated with aging, hypertension, atherosclerosis and other conditions. Preliminary evidence suggests that degradation of elastin, a key component of extracellular matrix in the vascular wall, may be responsible for the development of CAT. The clinical significance of CAT should be considered in several aspects. First, coronary flow alteration associated with CAT may result in myocardial ischemia owing to reduced perfusion pressure distal to the tortuous segment. Second, increased and oscillatory shear stress in the tortuous vessel may promote atherosclerotic plaque formation and acute coronary syndrome. Third, as one of the criteria for coronary lesion complexity, the presence of severe tortuosity proximal to the culprit lesion may pose a challenge to wiring and stent or balloon delivery, thereby increasing the risk of periprocedural complications. Last, the presence of CAT may serve as a diagnostic clue of concurrent vasculopathy such as fibromuscular dysplasia or spontaneous coronary artery dissection. In general, CAT represents a benign entity that does not require specific treatment or intervention. Further research is warranted to elucidate the pathogenesis and prognostic effect of coronary tortuosity.
Published In/Presented At
Kahe, F., Sharfaei, S., Pitliya, A., Jafarizade, M., Seifirad, S., Habibi, S., & Chi, G. (2020). Coronary artery tortuosity: a narrative review. Coronary artery disease, 31(2), 187–192. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCA.0000000000000769
Medicine and Health Sciences
Fellows and Residents