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Right ventricular infarction: role of the moderator band artery in determining infarct size.
We studied 19 patients with proximal right coronary artery occlusions associated with acute myocardial infarcts less than 30 days old. Right ventricular infarct size, determined as a percentage of right ventricular surface area, ranged from 0% to 29%. Correlation of 24 variables measuring infarct size, chamber size and coronary artery disease failed to demonstrate a significant correlation with the extent of right ventricular infarction. However, estimates of the degree of obstruction to potential collateral flow into the right coronary arterial system from the left anterior descending coronary artery, especially through the moderator band artery, showed a significant positive correlation with infarct size (p less than 0.02). Among the five patients with massive (greater than 25%) right ventricular infarction, four had significant (greater than 75%) obstruction of the left anterior descending system, resulting in potentially impaired collateral blood flow; the other patient had normal coronary arteries and embolic occlusion of the proximal right coronary artery with contraction band necrosis. The study suggests that collateral flow to the right ventricular myocardium, especially through the moderator band artery, protects against massive infarction in the presence of proximal right coronary artery occlusion.
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