OBJECTIVES: Coronary artery dilatations-aneurysms and ectasia-are an uncommon and frequently unrecognized incidental finding in patients with coronary artery disease.
METHODS: Aneurysms and ectasia are associated with a vast group of disorders, and the evaluation and characterization of coronary aneurysms and ectasia represent a great diagnostic task with clinical and therapeutic implications. The underlying etiology is variable and includes degenerative, congenital, inflammatory, infectious, toxic, and traumatic causes.
RESULTS: Unlike aneurysms, ectasia is more frequently seen in association with atherosclerosis or as a compensatory mechanism in those cases in which a proximal stenosis is noted in the opposite coronary artery; ectasia is also seen in some coronary artery anomalies, such as anomalous origin from the pulmonary artery, or as a result of a high-flow state, as seen in coronary artery fistulas. The diagnostic approach depends on the clinical scenario, and nowadays, noninvasive evaluation with multidetector computed tomography is possible. Imaging assessment should include evaluation of (a) the distribution, (b) maximal diameter, (c) presence or absence of intraluminal thrombi, (d) number, (e) extension, and (f) associated complications such as myocardial infarction.
CONCLUSIONS: This article presents an overview of the definition, classification, etiology, clinical manifestations, and potential complications of coronary artery aneurysms and ectasia.