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Case Reports in Cardiology
Volume 2011, Article ID 286598, 4 pages
Case Report

Anomalous Right Coronary Artery: A Multimodality Hunt for the Origin

1Division of Cardiology, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6
2Department of Radiology, Quinte Healthcare Corporation, Belleville, ON, Canada K8N 5A9
3Division of Cardiac Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1X8

Received 23 June 2011; Accepted 11 July 2011

Academic Editors: K. N. Blackett, A. J. Mansur, and F. M. Sarullo

Copyright © 2011 J. Gilmour et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Anomalous origin of the right coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ARCAPA) is a rare congenital anomaly. Although there have been several cases of ARCAPA reported in the literature, we present a case which highlights the challenges of diagnosing this rare condition and the incremental value of using multiple imaging modalities. A healthy 48 year old female presented with angina and exertional shortness of breath. She had a normal cardiovascular examination, negative cardiac enzymes and an unremarkable chest X-ray. She did, however, have T-wave inversions in leads V1–V3. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE), as the first imaging investigation, led to an initial provisional diagnosis of a coronary-cameral fistula. It showed unusual colour Doppler signals in the right ventricle and a prominent pattern of diastolic flow within the right ventricular myocardium, especially along the interventricular septum. A subsequent multimodality approach, correlating images from angiography, CT and MRI was instrumental in confirming the diagnosis of ARCAPA and planning for surgical correction. Cardiac CT and MRI are non-invasive, three-dimensional imaging modalities with high diagnostic accuracy for coronary artery anatomic anomalies. If echocardiography and conventional angiography have been inconclusive, cardiac CT and MRI are especially important diagnostic tools.