Surgical unroofing of anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery: A single-center experience

Vikas Sharma, Harold M. Burkhart, Joseph A. Dearani, Rakesh M. Suri, Richard C. Daly, Soon J. Park, Justin M. Horner, Sabrina D. Phillips, Hartzell V. Schaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background. Anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery (AAOCA) has been associated with myocardial ischemia and sudden death. The optimal management of patients with AAOCA is controversial. We examined our experience with surgical unroofing of AAOCA to determine the midterm effect of surgical repair. Methods. From October 1992 through December 2011, 75 patients with AAOCA underwent surgical unroofing. Results. Mean age was 39.6 ± 19.6 years; 23 patients (32%) were aged younger than 30 years. Angina, shortness of breath, or syncope was present in 55 patients (72%); 2 (3%) had history of sudden cardiac arrest. Of 40 patients (53%) who had preoperative stress tests, results were abnormal in 20 (50%). Coronary or computed tomography angiography demonstrated an anomalous right coronary artery (RCA) arising from the left sinus in 69 patients (92%) and the left main coronary artery arising from the right sinus in 6 (8%). Two patents (3%) were referred for recurrent anginal symptoms after previous RCA bypass with the right internal mammary artery. Minimally invasive partial upper sternal split was performed in 17 patients (22%). Two patients (3%) needed right internal mammary artery-to-RCA grafting due to flow acceleration at the RCA ostium. There were no early deaths. One late death (1%) occurred related to noncardiac causes. At follow-up (mean, 18 months; maximum, 7 years), all patients remained free of cardiac symptoms. Conclusions. Surgical unroofing of AAOCA is associated with low morbidity and mortality. At intermediate follow-up, resolution of symptoms and freedom from sudden death can be expected. The threshold for offering intervention should be low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-945
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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