Repair of critical aortic coarctation in neonatal age

J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 2002 Feb;43(1):1-6.


Background: The data of 111 (male: 64; female: 47) in the period of 1967 until 12/93 consecutive operated neonatals (<1 month) were studied retrospectively (mean weight 3270 g, mean age at operation 14 days).

Methods: Preductal anatomy was present in 96 patients. The coarctation was isolated in 30 patients (group I), 34 patients had additional large ventricular septal defects (group II) and 47 had complex heart disease (group III). The preoperative heart catheterization revealed a gradient of <20 mmHg in 35%, >20 mmHg in 51.4% and >50 mmHg in 12.9%. The indication for repair was conservatively untreatable heart insufficiency. In the vast majority (n=97) of patients resection and end-to-end anastomosis were performed, in 31 cases using an absorbable suture, in 18 of these using a continuous suture line. In 4 patients a subclavian flap angioplasty (SFA) was done, in 4 a patch enlargement, 4 times a repair was described as not possible and in 2 patients there was no gradient after division of the ductus.

Results: Early lethality was 3.3% (n=1) in group I, 24.2% (n=8) died in group II and 39.1% (n=18) in group III; after introducing Prostaglandin E1 0% in group I, 15% in II and 25% in III. Relevant recoarctation (Gradient >20 mmHg) developed in 9 (among them 4 with hypoplastic arch, 2 after SFA) of the 77 long-term survivors; 6 of these were reoperated on, 5 without residual gradient, 1 with a gradient of 25 mmHg without clinical symptoms (after 4 years). In the last 3 patients a balloon dilation was carried out without residual gradient. Mean follow-up time was 6 (0-24) years. No patient needs antihypertensive treatment. The cumulative survival rate is 96.7% (+6.6%) for group I, 77.4% (+15.0%) for II and 51.9% (+16.6%) for III.

Conclusions: Resection and end-to-end anastomosis using a continuous absorbable suture is the method of choice at theoretical considerations and in our experiences. The number of recoarctations in neonatal age is relatively high; reinterventions (operation respectively dilation) can be done safely and successfully.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Aortic Coarctation / mortality*
  • Aortic Coarctation / physiopathology
  • Aortic Coarctation / surgery*
  • Critical Illness / mortality*
  • Critical Illness / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Survival Rate
  • Suture Techniques