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Congenital Malformations of the Right Atrium and the Coronary Sinus*: An Analysis Based on 103 Cases Reported in the Literature and Two Additional Cases

Thomas M. Binder, MD; Raphael Rosenhek, MD; Herbert Frank, MD; Marianne Gwechenberger, MD; Gerald Maurer, MD; Helmut Baumgartner, MD
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*From the From the Department of Cardiology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Correspondence to: Thomas Binder, MD, Department of Cardiology, University of Vienna, AKH, Währingergürtel 18–20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria; e-mail: thomas.binder@univie.ac.at



Chest. 2000;117(6):1740-1748. doi:10.1378/chest.117.6.1740
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Study objectives: Congenital malformations of the right atrium (RA) and the coronary sinus (CS) are rare, and only sporadic cases have been reported. Little is known about the clinical relevance of this disorder. We report on two patients, one with a giant RA diverticulum, the other with a diverticulum of the CS, and review 103 cases of such malformations that have been reported previously.

Design: A MEDLINE search was performed to collect all cases of congenital malformations of the RA and the CS reported in the literature between 1955 and 1998. Cases were classified into the following categories: (1) congenital enlargement of the RA; (2) single diverticulum of the RA; (3) multiple diverticula of the RA; and (4) diverticulum of the CS. Clinical presentation and outcome of the different types of malformations were analyzed.

Results: The patients most frequently presenting with symptoms were those with diverticula of the CS (n = 28) followed by those with single diverticula of the RA (n = 13), multiple diverticula (n = 4), and congenital enlargements of the RA (n = 60). The percentages of symptomatic patients were 93, 84, 75, and 53%, respectively. Symptoms were frequently caused by arrhythmias. Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) was found in 42 of the patients (40%) and was most common in patients with diverticula of the CS (24 of 28 patients) and multiple atrial diverticula (3 of 4 patients). Sudden cardiac death was reported more frequently in patients with diverticula of the CS (18%) compared to those with congenital enlargement of the RA (5%) or single or multiple diverticula of the RA (6%). All seven patients with diverticula of the CS who were not treated with catheter or surgical ablation eventually died.

Conclusion: Congenital malformations of the RA and the CS frequently are associated with arrhythmias. SVT and sudden cardiac death have been reported in a significant percentage of patients with diverticula of the CS.

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