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November 3, 1962

Congenital Anomaly of Left Coronary Artery in Young Athlete

Author Affiliations

Lexington, Ky.

JAMA. 1962;182(5):572-573. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050440064021a

THE most frequent cause of sudden nontraumatic death associated with athletic exertion is silent ischmic heart disease. A survey of the results obtained in autopsies of 72 subjects who had died during exercise revealed 3 instances of transposition of the coronary arteries. In 2 patients the left branch of the coronary artery originated from the pulmonary artery; in the third, the right branch of the coronary artery was absent. We are reporting here a fourth case of an athlete with this rare congenital anomaly.

Report of a Case

A 14-year-old high school student on Sept. 26, 1961, participated in a cross-country race of over 2 miles in Berea, Ky. After completing the contest, he walked to the dressing room nearby where he was found dead 20 minutes later. The boy had never been seriously ill. He was believed to be exceptionally fit since he belonged to the school's track team