Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the author's final published version in European Heart Journal - Case Reports, Volume 4, Issue 6, 1 December 2020, Article number ytaa421.

The published version is available at

Copyright © 2020 The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact


Background : Unroofed coronary sinus (UCS) is a rare congenital cardiac anomaly in which there is complete or partial absence of the roof of the coronary sinus (CS) resulting in a communication between the right and left atria. There are four types of UCS described in the literature. While usually asymptomatic and discovered incidentally on imaging, UCS can be the source of a brain abscess or paradoxical embolism.

Case summary : A 62-year-old gentleman presented to the emergency department with sudden onset of right-sided weakness and subsequent unresponsiveness. His brain computed tomography (CT) was consistent with left-sided stroke. Transthoracic echocardiography was remarkable for a dilated CS and an agitated saline study was suggestive of an UCS. A gated cardiac CT with coronary angiography confirmed a wide communication between the CS and left atrium. Right heart catheterization did not show evidence of left to right shunt. He had no abnormal rhythm on telemetry monitoring throughout his hospital stay.

Discussion : Unroofed coronary sinus is the least prevalent form of an atrial septal defect. Unroofed coronary sinus is usually asymptomatic and is diagnosed incidentally in imaging studies, however, it should be suspected in patients with cerebral emboli or evidence of left to right shunt with unexplained arterial desaturation. Transthoracic echocardiography is the most widely used imaging modality for the diagnosis of UCS but is limited in its ability to visualize the posterior cardiac structures such as the CS and pulmonary veins. Gated cardiac CT is a great diagnostic tool for UCS.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



PubMed ID


Included in

Cardiology Commons