Objectives: In patients with repaired coarctation of aorta (CoA), we assessed ventriculo-vascular characteristics using CMR-derived aortic area strain (AAS), left atrial (LA) and left ventricular (LV) longitudinal and circumferential strain (LS, CS).
Methods: Seventy-five subjects including 50 with repaired CoA divided into hypertensive (n = 25), normotensive (n = 25) and 25 controls were studied. AAS was measured at 3 levels: ascending aorta, proximal descending and descending aorta. LA and LV LS were measured using CMR-feature tracking. LA and LV end-diastolic volumes, ejection fraction (EF) and mass were measured.
Results: Mean patient age was 19.7 ± 6.7 and controls 23 ± 15 (years). All strains (LA, LV, ascending and descending aortic) were lower in CoA subgroups compared to controls except the AAS at diaphragm, which was not different. Comparisons between hypertensive and normotensive CoA showed no differences in LV mass, LV volumetric indices, and LA and LV strain indices; however, ascending AAS was lower in hypertensive subgroup (p = 0.02). Ascending AAS was correlated with LV mass (r = -0.4, p = 0.005), LVEF (r = -0.4, p = 0.004), systolic blood pressure (r = -0.5, p = 0.0001) and LVLS (r = 0.5, p = 0.001).
Conclusions: Ascending AAS correlated with LV mass, EF and LVLS. In hypertensive CoA, ascending AAS was reduced compared to normotensive CoA and controls, indicating vascular remodelling differences influenced by ongoing hypertension.
Key points: • Impaired arterial strain is a measure of increased stiffness in arteries • Ascending aorta strain correlates with left ventricular mass and longitudinal strain • Ascending aorta strain is significantly lower in hypertensive coarctation patients • Hypertension may be a consequence of vascular pathology persisting despite repair.
Keywords: Adult congenital heart disease; Aortic strain; Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Coarctation of the aorta; Paediatric cardiology.