Variability of human coronary artery geometry: an angiographic study of the left anterior descending arteries of 30 autopsy hearts


Journal Article (Academic article)

A computer-based system is described to measure objectively the geometric parameters of arteries from pairs of projection angiograms. This technique, which employs back-projection to define the vessel axes in 3-D space, was used to obtain selected parameters of coronary artery geometry from radiographic images of autopsy hearts. Results of the first 30 cases are presented, focussing on the distribution of the geometric parameters of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) and its first two major branches. The derived parameters include the angle between the left circumflex artery and the LAD; the angles between the LAD and its early diagonal and septal perforator branches; distances between branch points; and tortuosity. The geometric parameters vary considerably, presumably contributing to a corresponding variability in local hemodynamic and mechanical stresses. Most parameters are uncorrelated. One exception is the angle at the origin of the second diagonal branch, which is positively correlated (p<0.01) with the distance between the ostia of the first two diagonal vessels; this correlation could reflect the existence of “target” perfusion regions. No relation between geometric parameters and age or gender was seen. In this sample, blacks had a larger angle at the left main bifurcation than whites (p<0.05)

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brinkman, AM; Baker, PB; Newman, WP; Vigorito, R; Friedman, MH

Published Date

  • 1994

Published In

  • Ann. Biomed. Eng. (Usa)

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 34 - 44