Coronary Artery Fistulas: Pathophysiology, Imaging Findings, and Management.
Radiographics. 2018 May-Jun;38(3):688-703. doi: 10.1148/rg.2018170158. Epub 2018 Mar 30. Yun G1, Nam TH1, Chun EJ1.
Coronary artery fistulas (CAFs) are abnormal communications of coronary arteries whereby venous circuits bypass the normal capillaries within the myocardium. CAFs are rare, and most affected patients are asymptomatic. However, these fistulas are the most common coronary artery anomalies that can alter coronary hemodynamic parameters. Although most CAFs are asymptomatic in young patients, symptoms and complications become more frequent with increasing age. CAFs are characterized by variable clinical manifestations that are based on the size, origin, and drainage site of the fistula. In symptomatic cases, surgical ligation or percutaneous transcatheter closure is often recommended. Although CAFs historically have been evaluated with conventional invasive angiography, electrocardiographically gated cardiac computed tomographic (CT) angiography has emerged as the noninvasive alternative modality of choice owing to the high spatial and temporal resolution and short acquisition time. Furthermore, three-dimensional volume-rendered CT angiograms facilitate accurate assessment of the complex anatomy of CAFs, including their origin, drainage site, and complexity and the number and size of fistulous tracts. Knowledge of these characteristics is crucial for therapeutic planning. Radiologists must be aware of the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and characteristic CT angiographic findings of CAFs; appropriate CT angiographic protocols for evaluation of various CAFs; and the role of CT angiography in preprocedural planning and follow-up. Online supplemental material is available for this article. ©RSNA, 2018.