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Coronary artery anomalies are a frequent finding in the general population and often result in sudden death. Therefore, rapid diagnosis and surgical correction are essential. Although coronary arteriography ultimately is necessary to determine the exact nature of the anomaly, two-dimensional echocardiography and radionuclide tests may provide valuable information in the initial workup of patients with chest pain, as demonstrated in the case reported here. This patient, who had angina-like symptoms, was found on cardiac angiography to have an anomalous left coronary artery rising from the right coronary sinus of Valsalva. Double coronary artery bypass grafting involving the left anterior descending and circumflex marginal vessels alleviated symptoms and resulted in improved exercise tolerance. The authors discuss theories explaining the spectrum of ischemia, infarction, and sudden death and surgical alternatives that improve survival rates.
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