Coronary arterial ectasia (CAE) refers to diffuse dilatation of the coronary arteries. Under some classification systems there is some overlap with the term coronary arterial aneurysms (which is a more focal dilatation).
It is often defined as dilatation of an arterial segment to a diameter at least 1.5 times (i.e. 150%) that of the adjacent normal coronary artery (unaffected segment).
They may be present in up to ~5% (range 3-8%) of angiographic and in ~1% (range 0.2-1.4%) of autopsy series.
It is attributed to atherosclerosis in 50% of patients while in ~25% of patients it may be congenital in origin.
- coronary artery disease: co-exists in the great majority patients
- inflammatory or connective tissue diseases: 10-20% cases and include
- purely congenital in origin: small proportion of cases
One method of classification is 1:
- type I: diffuse ectasia of two or three vessels
- type II: diffuse ectasia of of one vessel and localised disease in other, i.e. an aneurysm
- type III: diffuse ectasia in only one vessel
- type IV: focal coronary aneurysm in one vessel
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