Coronary Artery Fistula

A coronary artery fistula is an abnormal connection between a coronary artery and another part of the heart, such as the right atrium, right ventricle or pulmonary artery. Occasionally, the fistula produces enough excess blood into the right side of the heart to produce cardiac enlargement. In other cases, there are no symptoms and the abnormality is discovered because of an unusual cardiac murmur or abnormal flow seen on an echocardiogram. Treatment varies with the location and size of the fistula.  A tiny coronary artery fistula may not require intervention.  Larger ones can often be closed using catheter techniques and avoid surgery.  Management is highly specialized and requires particular expertise.