Patients at risk for complications after coronary artery fistula closure

March 23, 2010

Long-term complications after procedures to close coronary artery fistulas are particularly prevalent among those whose abnormal connections to the heart result in drainage into the coronary sinus, according to a study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions, a journal of the American Heart Association.

A coronary artery fistula is an abnormal connection between a coronary artery and a chamber of the heart or vessel. The coronary sinus is the end portion of a large vein at the back of the heart that receives blood from the heart's veins and empties into the right atrium.

The study found that procedures to close a CAF were associated with increased long-term risks of angina, coronary thrombosis (a clot in one of the heart's ), and .

To determine which patients are most at risk for these complications after closure, researchers reviewed the medical records of 76 patients diagnosed with congenital coronary artery fistula. Sixty-four patients underwent transcatheter closure or surgical repair of the fistula.

The researchers found that 15 percent of patients had major complications following closure, including heart attack, angina with coronary , or symptomatic cardiomyopathy (heart failure). The only angiographic finding associated with major complications was drainage of the coronary artery fistula into the coronary sinus.

Other predictors associated with adverse outcomes included older age at diagnosis, tobacco use, diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia (or high cholesterol).

Physicians should consider reducing atherosclerotic and long-term use of blood thinning medications after coronary artery fistula closure, especially for patients with fistula that drain into the coronary sinus, the researchers said.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Anti-malaria drug shows promise as Zika virus treatment

November 17, 2017
A new collaborative study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) and UC San Diego School of Medicine has found that a medication used to prevent and treat malaria may also be effective ...

Decrease in sunshine, increase in Rickets

November 17, 2017
A University of Toronto student and professor have teamed up to discover that Britain's increasing cloudiness during the summer could be an important reason for the mysterious increase in Rickets among British children over ...

Scientists identify biomarkers that indicate likelihood of survival in infected patients

November 17, 2017
Scientists have identified a set of biomarkers that indicate which patients infected with the Ebola virus are most at risk of dying from the disease.

Research team unlocks secrets of Ebola

November 16, 2017
In a comprehensive and complex molecular study of blood samples from Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, published today (Nov. 16, 2017) in Cell Host and Microbe, a scientific team led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison has ...

Study raises possibility of naturally acquired immunity against Zika virus

November 16, 2017
Birth defects in babies born infected with Zika virus remain a major health concern. Now, scientists suggest the possibility that some women in high-risk Zika regions may already be protected and not know it.

A structural clue to attacking malaria's 'Achilles heel'

November 16, 2017
Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and PATH's Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) have shed light on how the human immune system recognizes the malaria parasite though investigation of antibodies generated ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.