Objective: A number of patients with Williams syndrome or other forms of elastin arteriopathy have stenoses of pulmonary arteries in addition to supravalvular aortic stenosis. We sought to investigate the effect of the degree of pulmonary arterial stenosis on the prognosis after an operation for supravalvular aortic stenosis to help define the optimal treatment strategy for patients with severe forms of elastin arteriopathy.
Methods: Between 1960 and 1999, 33 patients underwent operations for supravalvular aortic stenosis while having significant stenoses of the pulmonary arteries. We retrospectively reviewed patient charts, obtained current follow-up information, and determined risk factors for survival and reoperation.
Results: Fifteen patients with moderate right-sided obstructions (confirmed by pulmonary artery Z-scores and right ventricular/descending aortic pressure ratio) underwent operations for supravalvular aortic stenosis only. Eighteen patients had more severe right-sided obstructions and underwent surgical relief of pulmonary arterial stenoses or right ventricular outflow tract obstruction in addition to operations for supravalvular aortic stenosis. Eight patients had undergone preoperative balloon dilations of stenotic pulmonary arteries. There were 6 early deaths and 1 late death in our series. Survival at 10 and 20 years was 76% (70% confidence interval, 68%-84%) and freedom from reintervention was 59% (70% confidence interval, 46%-71%) at 10 years and 49% (70% confidence interval, 35%-62%) at 20 years. Multivariate analysis revealed that patients with a right ventricular/descending aortic pressure ratio of 1.0 or more were at higher risk for reintervention but not for death.
Conclusions: Surgical treatment of pulmonary artery obstructions in elastin arteriopathy is palliative but, in conjunction with balloon dilation of peripheral pulmonary arteries, offers good long-term survival to patients with the severest form of elastin arteriopathy.