Background: We analyzed a single institution 40-year experience with children that had coarctation repair to define risk factors for recoarctation and to evaluate the results of reoperation for recoarctation.
Material and methods: Between 1957 and 1998, 271 patients had primary surgical repair of coarctation of the aorta. Techniques for primary repair included Gore-tex patch aortoplasty (PATCH; n = 118), resection with extended end-to-end anastomosis (RXEEA; n = 69), subclavian flap aortoplasty (SFA; n = 61), resection with simple end-to-end anastomosis (ETE; n = 18), resection and interposition graft (n = 4), and extra-anatomic graft (n = 1). Techniques for recoarctation repair included PATCH, interposition graft, and extra-anatomic graft.
Results: Median age at initial repair was 156 days. Major associated cardiac anomalies were present in 96 patients (35%). A hypoplastic aortic arch was present in 37 patients (14%). There were three early deaths (1%) and six late deaths (2%). One patient had paraplegia (0.4%). Recoarctation occurred in 29 patients (11%) and was most frequent with ETE and SFA repairs (33% and 20%, respectively). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed ETE repair (p = 0.0002), SFA repair (p = 0.049), and aortic arch hypoplasia (p = 0.0001) to be risk factors for recoarctation. Using PATCH as the covariate, the odds ratio to develop recoarctation was 3.5 for SFA, 17.2 for ETE, and 15.2 for hypoplastic aortic arch. There was no mortality or paraplegia after recoarctation repair (n = 23). Six patients had seven balloon angioplasties; two of these patients later required reoperation. Three patients required a second reoperation for persistent coarctation.
Conclusions: In our 40-year review, simple end-to-end anastomosis and subclavian flap repair had the highest incidence of recoarctation, especially when associated with aortic arch hypoplasia. We recommend resection with extended end-to-end anastomosis for repair of neonates and infants and Gore-tex patch aortoplasty for children over the age of 1 year. Surgical repair of recurrent coarctation is safe, effective, and has a low incidence of persistent coarctation.