Anomalous Aortic Origin of the Coronary Artery (AAOCA)

Anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery (AAOCA) is a congenital heart defect in which one of the arteries that bring blood to the heart muscle is not attached to the larger artery in the normal position.

The condition is the second leading cause of sudden death in children and young adults in sports. Symptoms are not always present, however, but may include fainting upon exertion, or chest pain.

Though surgical correction is thought to be the best treatment, this abnormality is hard to diagnose and it is difficult to know its real prevalence in the population.