A detailed analysis of the extent of coronary artery atherosclerosis was made in 92 white subjects (66 men and 26 women) who died suddenly from ischaemic heart disease. Stenoses resulting in loss of greater than or equal to 75% of luminal cross sectional area (significant stenosis) were found in 90 subjects and these were more extensive in the proximal coronary tree than in the distal. Thirty nine per cent had triple vessel disease, 37% had double vessel disease, and 23% had single vessel disease. In addition one man had an isolated significant stenosis affecting the left main coronary artery. The frequency of significant stenoses in the left main coronary artery was greater in men than in women. The arteries that were least affected were the distal branches of the right coronary artery. A notable feature was the widespread nature of the coronary atherosclerosis: only 26 of the total of 1840 segments of coronary artery examined in the 92 victims could be described as having a normal intima (less than or equal to 10% loss of the area within the internal elastic lamina).
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