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      The significant coronary tortuosity and atherosclerotic coronary artery disease; What is the relation?

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          Introduction: Although coronary tortuosity is relatively common in coronary angiograms, there is much debate over the significance of this anatomical variation. So in this study the relation between significant coronary tortuosity (SCT) and coronary artery disease (CAD) was examined.

          Methods: The cross-sectional study included 737 patients (57% male) who were admitted to the hospital for a coronary angiography, based on their symptoms or non-invasive imaging. Coronary arteries defined as SCT are in the presence of either ≥3 consecutive curvatures of 90◦ to 180◦ or ≥2 consecutive curvatures of ≥180◦ measured at the end-diastole, in a major epicardial coronary artery ≥2 mm in diameter.

          Results: 29.17% of the patients had SCT of which females (64.7% vs. 34.1%, P < 0.001) and higher aged persons (62.9±8.4 vs. 57.8±10.7 years ± SD; P < 0.001) were significantly associated with SCT compared to non-SCT. Left anterior descending artery (LAD), left circumflex artery (LCX) and right coronary artery (RCA) with SCT in comparison to non-SCT, had lesser probability of CAD with stenosis severity of ≥50% (34.5% vs. 46.1%; P = 0.019 and 17.7% vs. 31.1%; P = 0.001 and 27.9% vs. 43.5%; P = 0.013 respectively) and also had significant lower Gensini scores (4.1±5.3 vs. 8.4±11.9; P = 0.011; 2.1±3.4 vs. 5.2±9.5; P = 0.01 and 1.2±1.9 vs. 5.03±8.9; P < 0.001 respectively) but higher TIMI frame count (15.7±5.3 vs. 11.9±4.6; P < 0.001 and 17.1±4.4 vs. 12.7±4.4; P < 0.001 and 15.2±3.9 vs. 11.6±4.8; P < 0.001 respectively).

          Conclusion: SCT is negatively correlated with CAD and there is a significant association between SCT and reduced coronary flow rate.

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          Most cited references 19

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          A more meaningful scoring system for determining the severity of coronary heart disease.

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            TIMI frame count: a quantitative method of assessing coronary artery flow.

            Although the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) flow grade is valuable and widely used qualitative measure in angiographic trials, it is limited by its subjective and categorical nature. In normal patients and patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI) (TIMI 4), the number of cineframes needed for dye to reach standardized distal landmarks was counted to objectively assess an index of coronary blood flow as a continuous variable. The TIMI frame-counting method was reproducible (mean absolute difference between two injections, 4.7 +/- 3.9 frames, n=85). In 78 consecutive normal arteries, the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) TIMI frame count (36.2 +/- 2.6 frames) was 1.7 times longer than the mean of the right coronary artery (20.4 +/- 3.0) and circumflex counts (22.2 +/- 4.1, P < .001 for either versus LAD). Therefore, the longer LAD frame counts were corrected by dividing by 1.7 to derive the corrected TIMI frame count (CTFC). The mean CTFC in culprit arteries 90 minutes after thrombolytic administration followed a continuous unimodal distribution (there were not subpopulations of slow and fast flow) with a mean value of 39.2 +/- 20.0 frames, which improved to 31.7 +/- 12.9 frames by 18 to 36 hours (P < .001). No correlation existed between improvements in CTFCs and changes in minimum lumen diameter (r=-.05, P=.59). The mean 90-minute CTFC among nonculprit arteries (25.5 +/- 9.8) was significantly higher (flow was slower) compared with arteries with normal flow in the absence of acute MI (21.0 +/- 3.1, P < .001) but improved to that of normal arteries by 1 day after thrombolysis (21.7 +/- 7.1, P=NS). The CTFC is a simple, reproducible, objective and quantitative index of coronary flow that allows standardization of TIMI flow grades and facilitates comparisons of angiographic end points between trials. Disordered resistance vessel function may account in part for reductions in flow in the early hours after thrombolysis.
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              Coronary artery tortuosity in spontaneous coronary artery dissection: angiographic characteristics and clinical implications.

              Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an increasingly recognized nonatherosclerotic cause of acute coronary syndrome. The angiographic characteristics of SCAD are largely undetermined. The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of coronary tortuosity in SCAD and whether it may be implicated in the disease.

                Author and article information

                J Cardiovasc Thorac Res
                J Cardiovasc Thorac Res
                J Cardiovasc Thorac Res
                Journal of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Research
                Tabriz University of Medical Sciences
                13 December 2018
                : 10
                : 4
                : 209-213
                1Department of Cardiology, Science and Research branch, AJA University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
                2Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN), Tehran, Iran
                Author notes
                [* ] Corresponding Author: Adel Joharimoghadam, Email: adeljoharim@
                © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 5, References: 19, Pages: 5
                Original Article


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