Objectives: To evaluate whether the stenting of aortic coarctation enhance the risk of exercise-induced hypertension (EIH).
Background: There is the theoretical concern that aortic stents may cause increased aortic wall impedance and therefore systolic hypertension during exercise.
Methods: Blood pressure and the Doppler derived peak and mean systolic pressure gradient (PSG and MSG) across the distal aorta at the peak of exercise were evaluated in young patients (mean age 14 +/- 3 years) with aortic coarctation successfully treated with surgery or with stent implantation at least 1 year before the test. Only patients who reached the 85% maximal predicted heart rate or whose exercise test was interrupted because of severe hypertension, and in whom significant aortic narrowings were excluded by a MRI or a CT scan performed in the six months preceding the exercise test were included in the study.
Results: Seventeen patients formed the surgery-group, while 15 patients the stent-group. Patients in surgery-group were younger at coarctation repair and with a longer follow-up than those in stent-group. No difference was present regarding age, body surface area, gender, and presence, and degree of mildly hypoplastic aortic segments between the two groups as well as between patients with or without EIH. EIH was found in 35% of surgery-group patients and in 33% of stent-group patients. PSG and MSG were similar in the patients with or without EIH.
Conclusions: EIH can be found in a high number of young patients successfully treated for aortic coarctation but at intermediate follow-up stent implantation does not seem to enhance the risk of EIH.