The clinical anatomy of high take-off coronary arteries

Loukas M, Andall RG, Khan AZ, Patel K, Muresian H, Spicer DE, Tubbs RS.The clinical anatomy of high take-off coronary arteries.Clin Anat. 2016 Apr;29(3):408-19. doi: 10.1002/ca.22664.


A number of criteria are used in the literature to describe high take-off coronary arteries, which can in part, explain the divide in the literature on the pathological significance of this anomaly. This study presents the anatomical variations of high take-off coronary arteries to draw attention to the possible clinical implications they may cause during angiography and other surgical procedures. The English Literature was searched to review high take-off coronary arteries. A high take-off coronary artery arising at least 1 cm in adults or 20% the depth of the sinus in children above the sinutubular junction, is considered of greater clinical relevance and was included in our meta-analysis. High take-off coronaries by other criteria was also included as part of the comprehensive review. Exclusion criteria were reports made in case studies or case reviews. The prevalence of high take-off coronary arteries in our study was 26 of 12,899 (0.202%). High take-off coronary arteries were found to originate up to 5 cm above the sinutubular junction. Right coronary arteries made up 84.46% of high take-off coronary arteries reported in the literature. Three (0.023%) cases that originated more than one centimeter above the sinutubular junction was associated with sudden cardiac death. This is a higher reported association than in studies that used other criteria for classification. It is important for clinicians to recognize the importance of correctly diagnosing high take-off coronary arteries in patients with coexisting cardiac morbidities so that suitable management plans can be developed.