A postmortem coronary angiography technique employing aortic injection of contrast medium and double contrast visualization of the aortic bulb and large epicardial coronary trunks was applied to the study of coronary ostia in a series of 124 deaths from acute myocardial infarction and a series of 89 sudden deaths without recent infarction and 42 violent deaths. A stenosis of 50 per cent or more of the lumen was found in the right ostium in 45 per cent and in the left ostium in 8 per cent of infarct cases. The corresponding figures in sudden deaths were 37 per cent on the right and 4.5 per cent on the left side, and in violent deaths 7 per cent in the right ostium and none in the left. Most ostial stenoses were caused by coronary atherosclerosis. In 9 patients, two with a recent infarct and 7 sudden deaths, an ostial stenosis was the only stenosed site in the coronary arterial tree. Of theses 9 patients, 7 were known to have suffered from symptomatic heart disease during life, chest pain on effort and arrhythmias being the most common complaint.
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