Pediatric Radiology| Volume 95, P74-79, March 2023

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Detection of anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery (AAOCA) by echocardiogram: When does computed tomographic angiography add value?


      • TTE can reliably identify or suspect the presence of AAOCA in expert hands.
      • Advanced imaging with CCTA is crucial for further detailed anatomic definition of the anomalous origin and course.
      • CCTA findings might have major implications on clinical decision-making.


      Background and objective

      There is limited literature comparing TTE and CCTA in children with suspected AAOCA. To determine the distribution of various coronary anomalies comparing TTE and CCTA data, and define the added value advanced imaging brings in clinical decision-making.

      Materials and methods

      Retrospective review of data was obtained in patients aged 0–18 years who underwent TTE and CCTA for suspected AAOCA. Patient demographics, CCTA and TTE findings, and interventions performed were recorded.


      100 consecutive patients were included (60% male), mean age 11 years (7 days-18 years old). In 93 patients, CCTA detected 94 anomalous coronaries. Definitive coronary abnormality was reported on TTE in 77 patients; 76 of which were confirmed by CCTA, 1 patient was found to have a normal variant. Suspected anomalous origin was reported in 16 patients on TTE, 13 of which were abnormal on CCTA. The coronary origin was not seen on TTE in 6 patients; of these, 3 had AAOCA on CCTA and 3 had hypoplastic RCA with left dominant system. Only 1 patient who had a normal TTE was found to have AAOCA on CCTA.
      CCTA was better than TTE in defining ostial characteristics and the course of the anomalous coronary artery, and detecting myocardial bridge.


      CCTA adds value in diagnosing AAOCA when the coronary origins are not well assessed or suspected anomalous origin is suggested on TTE. In addition, when a confident definitive diagnosis of AAOCA is reported on TTE, CCTA demonstrates better performance in determining additional features of AAOCA.


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