Anticoagulation, Antiplatelet, Atherosclerosis, Bypass grafting, Coronary artery aneurysm, Coronary artery ectasia, Coronary percutaneous intervention, Endothelial dysfunction, Hemoglobin S, Inflammation, Myocardial infarction, Sickle cell disease, Sickle cell trait, Thrombosis, Vasospasm
Coronary artery ectasia (CAE) or aneurysm is usually defined as dilation ≥1.5-fold the normal vessel diameter. It has an incidence of 1.4-5.3% and is associated with a wide variety of etiologies-mainly congenital, atherosclerotic, and inflammatory ones. CAE is very common in sickle cell disease, and possibly sickle cell trait, with an incidence of 17.7%. It is likely related to the inflammatory process associated with hemoglobin S. Prognosis depends mainly on the underlying etiology. Atherosclerotic CAE does not carry additional risks compared to atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (ACAD) without ectasia. However, isolated CAE in the absence of ACAD carries an increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI) due to vasospasm, slower coronary blood flow, and thrombosis, typically within the dilated segments. Due to lack of studies and guidelines, management recommendations are based on personal experiences. Therapy should be tailored to each individual case after assessment of severity, history of complications, underlying etiology, and comorbidities. Treatment of underlying condition and avoidance of exacerbating factors are essential. Medical therapy in general may include antiplatelets, β-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors statins, and dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers. In severe CAE or history of MI, the addition of anticoagulation therapy after assessing bleeding risk may be warranted. In acute MI, the large thrombus burden in the dilated segment makes the percutaneous approach very challenging. Aspiration attempts can result in distal thromboembolization. Survival is better in bypass grafting than with medical therapy. Nonetheless, bypass grafting does not improve survival in atherosclerotic CAE. Depending on the physical characteristics of aneurysm, different surgical approaches can be sought; however, the ideal one is unclear.