They want to do a stress test
Small fistulas usually do not cause any hemodynamic compromise. However, the larger fistulae can cause coronary artery steal phenomenon, which leads to ischemia of the segment of the myocardium perfused by the coronary artery. The pathophysiologic mechanism of coronary artery fistula is myocardial stealing or reduction in myocardial blood flow distal to the site of the coronary artery fistula connection. The mechanism is related to the diastolic pressure gradient and runoff from the coronary vasculature to a low-pressure receiving cavity. If the fistula is large, the intracoronary diastolic perfusion pressure progressively diminishes.
The coronary vessel attempts to compensate by progressive enlargement of the ostia and feeding artery. Eventually, myocardium beyond the site of the fistula's origin is at risk for ischemia, which is most frequently evident in association with increased myocardial oxygen demand during exercise or activity. Over time, the coronary artery leading to the fistulous tract progressively dilates, which, in turn, may progress to frank aneurysm formation, intimal ulceration, medial degeneration, intimal rupture, atherosclerotic deposition, calcification, side-branch obstruction, mural thrombosis, and, rarely, rupture.
My question is can symptoms develop as a result of plaques wearing down, exposing the weak area of the vessel?
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