The "Virtual" Multicenter Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) Registry


About this study

The primary goal of this project is to describe the clinical and physiologic characteristics of Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissections (SCAD) in order to increase awareness, understanding, treatment and prevention of a potentially fatal cardiovascular event.

This study will be a retrospective and prospective review of medical course and current health of men and women with SCAD.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Men and women able to give informed consent

- Diagnosis of one or more episodes of spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)

Exclusion Criteria:

- Lack of angiographic confirmation of SCAD

- Iatrogenic dissection or an alternate diagnosis

Note: Other protocol defined Inclusion/Exclusion criteria may apply.

Eligibility last updated 12/28/22. Questions regarding updates should be directed to the study team contact.

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Sharonne Hayes, M.D.

Open for enrollment

Contact information:

Susan Milbrandt C.C.R.C.

(507) 266-3180

More information


  • The co-morbidities and long-term complications of spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) are incompletely understood. This study investigated the association of atrial arrhythmias (AA), defined as atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter, with SCAD in a patient registry and population-based cohort. This observational study was performed in 2 parts. The first was a retrospective study reviewing patients diagnosed with AA in the Mayo Clinic SCAD Registry. The second was a population-based, case-control study to assess AA in patients with SCAD compared with age- and gender-matched controls. Of 1,214 patients in the Mayo Clinic SCAD Registry, 45 patients (3.7%) with SCAD were identified with an AA. A total of 8 of those patients (17.8%) had a pre-SCAD AA; 20 (44.4%) had a peri-SCAD AA; and 17 (37.8%) had a post-SCAD AA. The univariate analysis did not reveal significant associations with traditional cardiovascular risk factors. In the population-based cohort, 5 patients with SCAD (4%) and 4 controls (1%) developed an AA before the date of SCAD for each patient (odds ratio 4.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05 to 19.0, p = 0.04). A total of 5 patients with SCAD (4%) and 3 controls (1%) developed an AA in the 10 years after SCAD (hazard ratio 6.3, 95% CI 1.2 to 32.8, p = 0.03). A subgroup of patients with SCAD experienced AA before and after SCAD. Patients with a history of SCAD were more likely to develop AA in the next 10 years than were age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) has emerged as a common cause of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in young women, although it is rarely discussed in the differential diagnosis for chest pain in the emergency department (ED). In a population otherwise considered low risk for myocardial infarction, there is a danger of incomplete workup and missed diagnosis. In this study, we aim to describe the clinical presentation of those who present to the ED with SCAD to increase awareness of this potentially fatal diagnosis among emergency practitioners. Read More on PubMed
  • Little is known about associations between spontaneous coronary artery dissection and cervical artery abnormalities. This study sought to assess the prevalence of cervical artery abnormalities among patients with spontaneous coronary artery dissection. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a pathophysiologically distinct cause of acute coronary syndromes (ACS). It is increasingly recognized that optimal management is different from that for atherosclerotic ACS and that a SCAD diagnosis has specific long-term prognostic and therapeutic implications. Accurate diagnosis is therefore essential to ensure the best treatment of patients. At present this relies on the recognition of typical features of SCAD identified on invasive coronary angiography. Although most SCAD can be readily distinguished angiographically from alternative causes of ACS, false positive and false negative diagnoses remain common. In particular, sometimes non-SCAD presentations, including atherothrombosis, takotsubo cardiomyopathy, coronary embolism, coronary vasospasm, contrast streaming, and myocardial infarction with nonobstructive coronary arteries, can mimic angiographic features usually associated with SCAD. The authors present the combined experience from European and US SCAD referral centers reviewing the classical angiographic appearances of SCAD, presenting potential diagnostic pitfalls and exemplars of SCAD mimickers. The authors further review the benefits and limitations of intracoronary imaging in the context of SCAD. Finally, the authors discuss the investigation of ambiguous cases and an approach to minimize misdiagnosis in difficult cases. Read More on PubMed
  • Case reports and referral-based studies suggest spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is associated with autoimmune diseases and causes 2% to 4% of acute coronary syndromes. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a notable cause of acute coronary syndrome in women of childbearing age. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), an idiopathic disorder that predominantly affects young to middle-aged women, has emerged as an important cause of acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death. Read More on PubMed
  • Over the past decade, spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) has emerged as an important cause of myocardial infarction, particularly among younger women. The pace of knowledge acquisition has been rapid, but ongoing challenges include accurately diagnosing SCAD and improving outcomes. Many SCAD patients experience substantial post-SCAD symptoms, recurrent SCAD, and psychosocial distress. Considerable uncertainty remains about optimal management of associated conditions, risk stratification and prevention of complications, recommendations for physical activity, reproductive planning, and the role of genetic evaluations. This review provides a clinical update on the diagnosis and management of patients with SCAD, including pregnancy-associated SCAD and pregnancy after SCAD, and highlight high-priority knowledge gaps that must be addressed. Read More on PubMed
  • Background Mental health after spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), a cause of myocardial infarction in young women, remains largely unexplored. We assessed the prevalence and severity of psychiatric symptoms after SCAD. Methods and Results Individuals with confirmed SCAD who consented to the Mayo Clinic "Virtual" Multicenter SCAD Registry were sent the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Diagnostic Scale for , Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, Anxiety Sensitivity Index, Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey, and an SCAD-specific questionnaire. Among 782 patients contacted, 512 surveys were returned. Most respondents were women (97.5%), with median age at time of SCAD and survey completion of 47 and 52 years, respectively. Eighty-two percent had at least one trauma, with mild or more posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in 28%. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were observed in 41% and 32%, respectively. On multivariable analysis, those of younger age at first SCAD and low resiliency scored higher on measures of trauma, anxiety, and depression. Those with higher anxiety sensitivity had more severe anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Emotional and social quality of life was higher in those with high resiliency scores. Time from SCAD event to survey completion was associated with lower Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 score severity. Conclusions Survivors of SCAD have significant rates of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety, which are associated with lower quality of life specifically among those with lower resiliency. Given the prevalence and potential impact, screening and treatment for the psychological distress is advised. Behavioral interventions targeted toward resiliency training may be beneficial for this patient population. Read More on PubMed
  • To investigate the role of endothelial function in patients with previous spontaneous coronary artery dissection. Read More on PubMed
  • The coronary computed tomography angiography features of acute spontaneous coronary artery dissection, an important cause of acute coronary syndrome in young women, have not been assessed. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an uncommon idiopathic disorder predominantly affecting young, otherwise healthy women. Rare familial cases reveal a genetic predisposition to disease. The aim of this study was to identify a novel susceptibility gene for SCAD. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an increasingly recognized cause of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) afflicting predominantly younger to middle-aged women. Observational studies have reported a high prevalence of extracoronary vascular anomalies, especially fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) and a low prevalence of coincidental cases of atherosclerosis. PHACTR1/EDN1 is a genetic risk locus for several vascular diseases, including FMD and coronary artery disease, with the putative causal noncoding variant at the rs9349379 locus acting as a potential enhancer for the endothelin-1 (EDN1) gene. Read More on PubMed
  • Background Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a cause of acute coronary syndrome predominantly in women without usual cardiovascular risk factors. Many have a history of migraine headaches, but this association is poorly understood. This study aimed to determine migraine prevalence among SCAD patients and assess differences in clinical factors based on migraine history. Methods and Results A cohort study was conducted using the Mayo Clinic SCAD "Virtual" Multi-Center Registry composed of patients with SCAD as confirmed on coronary angiography. Participant-provided data and records were reviewed for migraine history, risk factors, SCAD details, therapies, and outcomes. Among 585 patients (96% women), 236 had migraine history; the lifetime and 1-year prevalence of migraine were 40% and 26%, respectively. Migraine was more common in SCAD women than comparable literature-reported female populations (42% versus 24%, P<0.0001; 42% versus 33%, P<0.0001). Among all SCAD patients, those with migraine history were more likely to be female (99.6% versus 94%; P=0.0002); have SCAD at a younger age (45.2±9.0 years versus 47.6±9.9 years; P=0.0027); have depression (27% versus 17%; P=0.025); have recurrent post-SCAD chest pain at 1 month (50% versus 39%; P=0.035); and, among those assessed, have aneurysms, pseudoaneurysms, or dissections (28% versus 18%; P=0.018). There was no difference in recurrent SCAD at 5 years for those with versus without migraine (15% versus 19%; P=0.39). Conclusions Many SCAD patients have a history of migraine. SCAD patients with migraine are younger at the time of SCAD; have more aneurysms, pseudoaneurysms, and dissections among those imaged; and more often report a history of depression and post-SCAD chest pain. Clinical Trial Registration URL: . Unique identifiers: NCT01429727, NCT01427179. Read More on PubMed
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) has significant diagnostic and prognostic utility in myocardial infarction evaluation. However, its application in spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is not described. Patients with confirmed SCAD who had CMR performed within 8 days of the index SCAD were reviewed. Clinical variables including demographics and medical history were recorded. CMR indexes, including myocardial delayed enhancement (MDE), microvascular obstruction, perfusion defects, left ventricular ejection fraction, and wall motion score index were measured. A total of 18 patients (all women, mean age 47.1 years) were included. Overall burden of atherosclerotic risk factors was low; 3 had a previous SCAD. Two patients underwent CMR before coronary angiography, whereas the others received CMR thereafter. Mean time between SCAD diagnosis and CMR completion was 2.7 days (range 0 to 8). Mean left ventricular ejection fraction and wall motion score index were 56.1% and 1.27, respectively. A total of 15 patients had MDE consistent with myocardial infarction in the SCAD distribution(s) identified on coronary angiography, with 8 patients having concomitant microvascular obstruction. Ten patients had transmural MDE. At follow-up (mean 386 days), all patients were alive; extracoronary vascular abnormalities were identified in 14; 6 had recurrent chest pain; and 2 had recurrent SCAD. Both patients with recurrent SCAD had no unique features on CMR to predict a future event. In conclusion, CMR provided significant value in clarifying the diagnosis and assessing for adverse sequelae after acute SCAD. Further studies are needed to determine its role in SCAD prognostication. Read More on PubMed
  • There is limited understanding of the role of cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) for assessment of patients with spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). Read More on PubMed
  • Risks and mechanisms of extension of conservatively managed spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) remain incompletely understood. Study objectives were to (1) evaluate mechanisms of early SCAD evolution through serial angiographic analysis, and (2) determine predictors of early SCAD progression. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) has emerged as an important cause of acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction, and sudden death, particularly among young women and individuals with few conventional atherosclerotic risk factors. Patient-initiated research has spurred increased awareness of SCAD, and improved diagnostic capabilities and findings from large case series have led to changes in approaches to initial and long-term management and increasing evidence that SCAD not only is more common than previously believed but also must be evaluated and treated differently from atherosclerotic myocardial infarction. High rates of recurrent SCAD; its association with female sex, pregnancy, and physical and emotional stress triggers; and concurrent systemic arteriopathies, particularly fibromuscular dysplasia, highlight the differences in clinical characteristics of SCAD compared with atherosclerotic disease. Recent insights into the causes of, clinical course of, treatment options for, outcomes of, and associated conditions of SCAD and the many persistent knowledge gaps are presented. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is the most common cause of pregnancy-associated myocardial infarction and remains poorly characterized. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an infrequently recognized but potentially fatal cause of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) that disproportionately affects women. Little is currently known about how patients with SCAD initially present. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is a major cause of myocardial infarction in pregnancy and the postpartum period. It occurs predominantly in young women with few or no conventional risk factors for atherosclerosis and has been clinically underrecognized. Treatment differs from that of myocardial infarction as a result of atherosclerosis and the diagnosis should be considered in all parturient and postpartum patients with acute coronary syndrome. Complications of spontaneous coronary artery dissection include recurrence, congestive heart failure, and death. Thus, specialist obstetrician-gynecologists and maternal-fetal medicine specialists need to gain knowledge of spontaneous coronary artery dissection to improve outcomes. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is an important etiology of nonatherosclerotic acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction, and sudden death. Innovations in the catheterization laboratory including optical coherence tomography and intravascular ultrasound have enhanced the ability to visualize intimal disruption and intramural hematoma associated with SCAD. Formerly considered "rare," these technological advances and heightened awareness suggest that SCAD is more prevalent than prior estimates. SCAD is associated with female sex, young age, extreme emotional stress, or extreme exertion, pregnancy, and fibromuscular dysplasia. The clinical characteristics and management strategies of SCAD patients are different than for atherosclerotic heart disease and deserve specific consideration. This review will highlight recent discoveries about SCAD as well as describe current efforts to elucidate remaining gaps in knowledge. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an under-recognised but important cause of myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death. We sought to determine the role of medical and molecular genetic screening for connective tissue disorders in patients with SCAD. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an increasingly recognized cause of myocardial infarction; however, the role of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) for patients with SCAD has not been well defined. To further understand CR in patients with SCAD, we studied a large cohort of patients with confirmed SCAD enrolled in the Mayo Clinic SCAD Registry from January 2010 to December 2014 (n = 354). Demographics, clinical characteristics, mental health status, and details about CR participation and experience were collected through medical record review and questionnaires. Participants at time of SCAD were 46 ± 10 years old; 96% were women. Most (76%) attended ≥1 CR sessions, averaging 18 ± 12 sessions. Most reported CR-related physical and emotional benefits (82% and 75%, respectively). Of the CR nonparticipants, 57 of 85 reported not participating because CR was not recommended by their health care provider. Other reasons included inadequate transportation (10 of 85), no insurance coverage (7 of 85), cost (2 of 85), no energy (2 of 85), being too ill (2 of 85), and miscellaneous comments (5 of 85). In conclusion, 3 of 4 of patients with SCAD participated in CR, most of whom reported benefit. Lack of recommendation for CR by a health care provider was the primary reason patients did not participate. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) has gained attention as a key cause of acute coronary syndrome and sudden cardiac death among women. Recent advancements in cardiac imaging have improved identification and accelerated awareness of SCAD. Accurate diagnosis of SCAD through use of imaging is critical, as emerging evidence suggests that the optimal short- and long-term management strategies for women with SCAD differs substantially from that of women with atherosclerotic coronary disease. This review summarizes the application of both invasive and noninvasive imaging for the diagnosis, assessment, surveillance, and treatment of women affected by SCAD. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an important cause of acute coronary syndrome and sudden death in young persons, particularly women. Associated conditions include fibromuscular dysplasia, peripartum status, and episodes of extreme emotion or exercise. Because of heightened awareness and improved diagnostic accuracy, it is increasingly important for clinicians to understand SCAD. Moreover, short-term and long-term management strategies diverge from typical strategies for atherosclerotic disease. In this Concise Review, we aim to highlight the key points about SCAD, including presentation, diagnosis, associated conditions, and short-term and long-term management. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a cause of acute coronary syndrome, often occurring in young women. The utility of comprehensive imaging and clinical significance of detected vascular abnormalities have yet to be determined. We hypothesized that extracoronary vascular abnormalities (EVAs) are common in SCAD and aimed to study the prevalence and distribution of these findings. We enrolled 115 patients with confirmed SCAD who were evaluated at the Mayo Clinic SCAD Clinic from February 2010 to May 2014 and prospectively underwent comprehensive computed tomography angiography imaging of the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis (SCAD computed tomography angiography protocol, n = 95) or had retrospective review of outside studies (n = 20) including head imaging (n = 40). Follow-up was determined by last clinical visit or study correspondence and included review of recurrent SCAD or myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and death. We reported EVAs in 66% of patients with SCAD, most frequently in the abdomen (36%), pelvis (28%), and neck (27%). Only 1 patient had EVA in the chest (aortic dissection and Marfan's). Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) (exclusively multifocal) was the most common type of EVA (45%). Vascular abnormalities in those with head imaging included intracranial aneurysms (n = 9) and FMD (n = 3). There were no deaths at median follow-up of 21 months (Q1 to Q3 7.7 to 55). The presence of FMD was not associated with SCAD recurrence (relative risk [RR] 1.2; confidence interval [95% CI] 0.60, 2.5), congestive heart failure (RR 0.66; 95% CI 0.20, 2.3), or myocardial infarction (RR 1.34; 95% CI 0.69, 2.6). In conclusion, EVAs including FMD, dissections, aneurysms, and dilation are common in patients with SCAD and occur in a wide anatomic distribution. The presence of EVAs and/or FMD did not correlate with the risk of subsequent clinical events, but future studies with increased power and longer follow-up will be important to further assess the role of EVAs in patients with SCAD. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a major cause of acute coronary syndrome in young women, especially among those without traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Prior efforts to study SCAD have been hampered by underrecognition and lack of registry-based studies. Risk factors and pathogenesis remain largely undefined, and inheritability has not been reported. Read More on PubMed
  • Although cardiac rehabilitation (CR) improves outcomes in patients after atherosclerotic myocardial infarctions, little is known of the CR benefit among patients with spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), who are primarily young, otherwise healthy women. The purpose of this study was to describe SCAD patient outcomes in phase 2 outpatient CR. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an increasingly recognized nonatherosclerotic cause of acute coronary syndrome. The angiographic characteristics of SCAD are largely undetermined. The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of coronary tortuosity in SCAD and whether it may be implicated in the disease. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is associated with extracoronary vascular abnormalities, which depending on type and location may warrant treatment or provide additional diagnostic or prognostic information about this uncommon entity. Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD), aneurysms, and dissections have been detected in multiple vascular territories by magnetic resonance angiography, CT angiography (CTA), and catheter angiography. The optimal modality to detect extracoronary vascular abnormalities is unknown. We highlight the technique and feasibility of a novel CTA protocol to detect extracoronary vascular abnormalities in these patients, incorporating patient safety and convenience. Read More on PubMed
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an acute coronary event of uncertain origin. Clinical features and prognosis remain insufficiently characterized. Read More on PubMed
  • To develop and assess the feasibility of a novel method for identification, recruitment, and retrospective and prospective evaluation of patients with rare conditions. Read More on PubMed

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