Risk factors for aortic complications in adults with coarctation of the aorta

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Oct 19;44(8):1641-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2004.07.037.


Objectives: We sought to determine the prevalence and predisposing condition for aortic wall complications in adults with either repaired or non-repaired coarctation of the aorta.

Background: Aortic wall complications may develop in adults with coarctation of the aorta, despite successful surgical repair in childhood.

Methods: A total of 235 adults with coarctation (mean age 27 +/- 13 years) were retrospectively reviewed. Treatment had been performed by surgery in 181 patients (group I) or by balloon angioplasty or stenting in 28 patients (group II). No previous intervention had been carried out in 26 patients with mild coarctation at diagnosis (group III).

Results: Forty-four aortic wall complications were found in 37 patients (16%). There were no differences among the three groups with respect to total complications (15%, 18%, and 15%, respectively), ascending aortic aneurysms (9%, 11%, and 12%), or descending aortic aneurysms (4% in all three groups). Multivariate analysis did not show a significant relationship between previous repair, type of repair, age at repair, residual Doppler pressure gradient, or systemic hypertension and the occurrence of aortic complications. Only aging (risk ratio [RR] 1.4 per decade of age, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1 to 1.8, p = 0.002) and bicuspid aortic valve (RR 3.2, 95% CI 1.3 to 7.5, p = 0.005) were significantly related to these complications.

Conclusions: Aortic wall complications are frequent in adults with coarctation of the aorta beyond that attributable to associated hemodynamic derangement or previous repair. The only independent risk factors appear to be advanced age and bicuspid aortic valve.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon
  • Aortic Aneurysm / epidemiology
  • Aortic Aneurysm / etiology*
  • Aortic Aneurysm / therapy
  • Aortic Coarctation / complications*
  • Aortic Coarctation / epidemiology
  • Aortic Coarctation / therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain
  • Stents