Gender differences in the prevalence of coronary artery tortuosity and its association with coronary artery disease

Joseph Chiha*, Paul Mitchell, Bamini Gopinath, George Burlutsky, Pramesh Kovoor, Aravinda Thiagalingam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Background Little is known about the significance of severe coronary tortuosity (SCT) despite it being a relatively common finding on coronary angiography. We examined whether the presence of tortuosity was influenced by gender or cardiac risk factors. Methods and results We examined 870 patients (Men = 589, Women = 281) who presented to Westmead Hospital, Sydney, Australia for invasive coronary angiography for the assessment of chest pain due to suspected CAD. Female gender and age were significantly associated with SCT (p < 0.001 for age) with 45.2% of women having SCT as opposed to 19.7% of men (p < 0.001). Men with SCT had lower Extent scores only compared than those without tortuosity (22.4 vs. 32.4, p = 0.003). However, women with SCT had less severe coronary artery disease than those with no SCT as measured by both the Extent score (12.4 vs. 19.1, p = 0.03) and Gensini score (10.4 vs. 15.5, p = 0.02). Conclusion There is a significant relationship between coronary artery tortuosity and gender. Women with severe tortuosity are more likely to have normal coronary arteries or less severe disease than men despite presenting with chest pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalIJC Heart and Vasculature
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Coronary artery tortuosity
  • Extent score
  • Gender
  • Gensini score


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