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Coronary Artery-Left Ventricular Fistula and Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy – An Association or an Incidental Finding? A Case Report

Mohamed E. Taha, Jaafar Al-Khafaji, Abubaker O. Abdalla, Christopher R. Wilson

(Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno, NV, USA)

Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:614-618

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.908836


BACKGROUND: A coronary artery-left ventricular fistula is an anomalous communication between the coronary arteries and the cardiac chambers and is a rare congenital coronary anomaly that is often small and asymptomatic. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, on the other hand, is a syndrome characterized by transient regional systolic dysfunction of the left ventricle, mimicking myocardial infarction, but in the absence of angiographic evidence of obstructive coronary artery disease or acute plaque rupture. We present the case of an elderly woman who presented with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and who was incidentally discovered to have an associated coronary artery-left ventricular fistula.
CASE REPORT: We report the case of a 68-years-old woman with a family history of premature cardiac diseases who presented with ischemic chest pain and elevated troponin levels. Her EKG and troponins were suggestive of non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), for which she was initially treated medically and later underwent coronary angiography. Unexpectedly, the angiography revealed patent coronary arteries, and we discovered evidence of coronary artery to left ventricular fistula in the addition to angiographic evidence of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. A working diagnosis of Takotsubo was made, for which she was treated medically with resulting improvement of her symptoms and later in the imaging findings.
CONCLUSIONS: This described case illustrates a rare association between coronary artery fistulas and Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. It is unclear if this association has played a role in the pathogenesis or perhaps is just an incidental finding. More similar cases are needed to expand the clinical presentation of both conditions and add to the literature.

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