Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of endovascular stents in native and recurrent coarctation of the aorta (CoA).
Background: Stents have been used successfully in various locations. Their use in CoA can be an alternative to surgery or balloon angioplasty (BA).
Methods: Thirty-four patients with CoA (13 native and 21 re-coarctation after surgery or BA) with a mean age of 16 +/- 8 years (range 4 to 36 years) underwent attempted stent implantation between 1993 and 1999. Successful outcome was defined as peak systolic pressure gradient after stent implantation < 20 mm Hg.
Results: Stents were implanted in 33/34 patients, and successful outcome occurred in 32/33 patients. Peak systolic pressure gradient decreased from 32 +/- 12 mm Hg to 4 +/- 11 mm Hg (p < 0.001). Coarctation site to descending aorta diameter ratio increased from 0.46 +/- 0.16 to 0.92 +/- 0.16 (p < 0.001). Two patients underwent successful stent re-dilation 16 and 21 months after initial implantation. Six patients (18%) developed complications, including two patients who underwent surgery. Follow-up for 29 +/- 17 months (range: 5 to 81 months) demonstrated no evidence of re-coarctation, aneurysm formation, stent displacement or fracture. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) decreased from 136 +/- 21 mm Hg before stent placement to 122 +/- 19 mm Hg at follow-up (p = 0.002). The SBP gradient decreased from 39 +/- 18 mm Hg to 4 +/- 6 mm Hg, and peak Doppler gradient decreased from 51 +/- 26 mm Hg to 13 +/- 11 mm Hg at follow-up (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Intravascular stent placement for native and recurrent CoA has excellent results in the short and intermediate terms. Long-term outcome remains to be evaluated.