High long-term morbidity in repaired aortic coarctation: weak association with residual arch obstruction

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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess late morbidity after repair of aortic coarctation and its association with residual aortic arch obstruction.

DESIGN AND SETTING: This is an observational cohort study of 133 patients who underwent surgical repair during 1965-1985. Echocardiography, bicycle exercise testing, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, and magnetic resonance imaging/computerized tomography scan of the thoracic aorta were performed. The setting of this study was a tertiary referral center.

PATIENTS: Among 156 survivors, 133 (84 men) accepted study participation. Median age (range) was 10 (0.1-40) years at repair and 44 (26-74) years at follow-up.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcome measures used are prevalence of previous cardiovascular reinterventions, current cardiac and valvular function, exercise capacity, blood pressure levels at rest and during exercise, and presence of recurrent or residual aortic arch obstruction and/or aortic aneurysms.

RESULTS: Thirty-five had undergone cardiovascular reinterventions. Sixteen had an aortic and three had a mitral valve prosthesis; 117 had a native aortic valve that was bicuspid in 63 and dysfunctional in 45. Ejection fraction was below 50% in 16. On exercise, performance was reduced in 37 and hypertension was induced in 47. Fifty-eight had elevated blood pressures and further 17 received antihypertensives. The ascending aorta was aneurysmal in 28 and the distal arch in five. The presence of a bicuspid aortic valve was significantly associated with valve regurgitation and ascending aortic ectasia. Fifty-eight of 121 patients had minimal aortic arch diameters between 46% and 79% of the diaphragmatic aortic diameter, indicating moderate/mild recoarctation. This was associated with elevated blood pressures and use of antihypertensive medication, but not with hypertension in unmedicated patients or with echocardiographic or exercise parameters. Only five patients had normal study findings, were normotensive, and without reinterventions after coarctation repair.

CONCLUSIONS: Cure by repair of aortic coarctation is rare; heart diseases, aortopathy, and hypertension are common. Morbidity is only weakly associated with mild/moderate recoarctation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCongenital Heart Disease
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)573-82
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2011

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Antihypertensive Agents/therapeutic use, Aorta, Thoracic/diagnostic imaging, Aortic Coarctation/complications, Aortic Diseases/diagnosis, Aortography/methods, Blood Pressure, Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory, Cardiac Surgical Procedures/adverse effects, Chi-Square Distribution, Child, Child, Preschool, Denmark/epidemiology, Exercise Test, Exercise Tolerance, Female, Heart Diseases/epidemiology, Humans, Hypertension/epidemiology, Infant, Logistic Models, Magnetic Resonance Angiography, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Reoperation, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Time Factors, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Treatment Outcome, Ultrasonography, Young Adult

ID: 242711783