Anatomic Parameters of the Left Coronary Artery: an Angiographic Study in a South African Population

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N. O. Ajayi; L. Lazarus; E. A. Vanker & K. S. Satyapal


An understanding of the left coronary artery (LCA) anatomy is important for accurate diagnosis and therapeutic intervention in the management of coronary arterial diseases. This angiographic study aims to document the parameters of the LCA that may be of importance in the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery diseases. An analysis of 151 coronary angiograms obtained from the cardiac catheterization laboratory in the eThekwini Municipality area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa was performed. The mean length and diameter of the LCA were 10.4±4.1 mm (range 2.8-23.9 mm) and 3.8±0.8 mm (range 2.1-6.5 mm), respectively. The mean angle of division between the two main branches was 86.2°±26.1° (range 27°-68.5°). There was a positive correlation between the length and the angle of division of the LCA, with the longest LCAs having the largest angle of division. The branching patterns of the LCA were 80.8%, 18.5% and 0.7% for bifurcation, trifurcation and quadrifurcation, respectively. Coronary arterial dominance was 81.5%, 15.2%, and 3.3% for right, left, and co-dominance, respectively. This study corroborated earlier findings that the longer the length, the wider the angle of LCA division. A wide angle of LCA division, the shape and disposition of the proximal tract of LCA branches may affect flow, interfere with proper deployment of stents or may predispose to earlier atherosclerotic lesions.

KEY WORDS: Coronary arteries; Left coronary artery; Morphology; Morphometry; Coronary dominance.

How to cite this article

AJAYI, N. O.; LAZARUS, L.; VANKER, E. A. & SATYAPAL, K. S. Anatomic parameters of the left coronary artery: an angiographic study in a South African population. Int. J. Morphol., 31(4):1393-1398, 2013.