News | April 10, 2015

Mayo Clinic Study First to Identify Spontaneous Coronary Artery Disease as Inherited

Study subjects displayed limited cardiovascular risk factors other than familial relation

April 10, 2015 — A Mayo Clinic study has identified a familial association in spontaneous coronary artery dissection, suggesting a genetic predisposition to the condition. The results are published in the March 23 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers used the Mayo Clinic SCAD Registry of 412 enrollees to identify five familial cases of SCAD, comprised of three pairs of first-degree relatives (mother-daughter, identical twin sisters, sisters) and two pairs of second-degree relatives (aunt and niece and first cousins). Researchers believe this is the first study to identify SCAD as an inherited disorder.

Most heart attacks happen when plaque builds up in arteries over a lifetime, and causes a blockage and a heart attack. In SCAD, a tear occurs inside an artery, and that can cause a blockage, leading to a heart attack. SCAD most commonly affects younger women.

“I was taught that SCAD was rare and the causes entirely unknown, but through our partnership with SCAD survivors and their families, clues are emerging that may change that,” says Sharonne Hayes, M.D., senior author and cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. “We know from previous research that SCAD occurs most often in younger women with no or minimal cardiovascular risk factors, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Recognizing now that it is a heritable disorder has implications for at-risk family members, and helps us understand the condition better.”

In one example from the study, a 36-year-old woman had intermittent chest pain for 24 hours. She was diagnosed with a heart attack, and a coronary angiography showed a spontaneous coronary dissection. Her only cardiovascular risk factor was high blood pressure. She had been training for a triathlon the week before her SCAD. Two years later, the woman’s 44-year-old maternal cousin went to the hospital following two hours of chest pain radiating to her upper back. She also was diagnosed with SCAD. Her only cardiovascular risk factor was a history of smoking. She participated in a 75-mile bicycle ride three days before her heart attack.

In addition, subsequent testing in both women revealed fibromuscular dysplasia, a vascular condition which more recently has been associated with SCAD, Hayes said.

She added that it is not clear what causes SCAD in most cases, but researchers know the following from previous studies:

  • SCAD affects women more often than men; up to 80 percent of patients with SCAD are women;
  • The average age is 42 years;
  • SCAD patients are typically otherwise healthy, with few heart disease risk factors; and
  • About 20 percent of women SCAD patients have recently given birth.

 

The Mayo Clinic SCAD Registry was created in 2010 in response to an organized effort by an online community of SCAD patients who sought more research on their condition. The registry now includes hundreds of patients who have learned about the registry through the Internet, social media or referrals by their physicians. In addition, hundreds of registry participants and their family members have contributed specimens to an ongoing Mayo Clinic SCAD DNA biorepository.

For more information: www.mayoclinic.org

Related Content

New Policy Decisions Give Millions Access to HeartFlow FFRct Analysis
News | Cardiac Imaging | February 01, 2018
February 1, 2018 – HeartFlow announced that seven new commercial payers issued positive medical policies covering the
Clear detail of the in-stent restenosis can be seen in this image from the new high-resolution Canon Precision CT system. RSNA 2017, #RSNA2017, #RSNA17

Clear detail of the in-stent restenosis can be seen in this image from the new high-resolution Canon Aquilion Precision CT system.

Feature | Cardiac Imaging | January 23, 2018 | Dave Fornell
Medical imaging plays a key role in cardiology, and most of the newest radiology technology advances are first unveil
Philips Introduces Technology Maximizer Program for Imaging Equipment Upgrades
Technology | Cardiac Imaging | January 17, 2018
Philips recently announced the launch of Technology Maximizer, a cross-modality program designed to boost the clinical...
Videos | Cardiac Imaging | December 29, 2017
ITN and DAIC Editor Dave Fornell takes a tour of some of the most interesting new medical imaging technologies on the
Siemens Healthineers Introduces Share360 Tailored Service Portfolio
News | Cardiac Imaging | November 10, 2017
To address the specific needs of medical imaging clinical engineering departments nationwide, Siemens Healthineers has...
HeartFlow's FFR-CT (FFRct) analysis software can create a virtual FFR to assess coronary artery disease.

HeartFlow's FFR-CT analysis software uses a computed tomography scan and supercomputing fluid dynamics software to create a noninvasive, virtual FFR map of the entire coronary artery tree to determine the flow-limiting severity of ant lesions. 

News | Cardiac Imaging | November 06, 2017
November 6, 2017 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized a New Technology Ambulatory P
Philips Announces Findings of Patient Experience in Imaging Research
News | Cardiac Imaging | October 24, 2017
Philips recently announced the key findings of its research focused on the patient experience in diagnostic imaging...
ASNC and SNMMI Release Joint Document on Diagnosis, Treatment of Cardiac Sarcoidosis
News | Cardiac Imaging | August 18, 2017
August 18, 2017 — The American Society of...
Houston Methodist Hospital Enters Multi-Year Technology and Research Agreement With Siemens Healthineers
News | Cardiac Imaging | August 17, 2017
Houston Methodist Hospital and Siemens Healthineers have entered into a multi-year agreement to bring cutting-edge...
Videos | Cardiac Imaging | July 18, 2017
Leslee Shaw, Ph.D., director of clinical research and professor of medicine at Emory University, Atlanta, and past-pr
Overlay Init