Objectives: This study was undertaken to investigate the long-term outcome of balloon angioplasty for recurrent coarctation of the aorta in a large series of patients.
Background: Balloon angioplasty has become the standard treatment for residual or recurrent aortic coarctation. Despite the widespread use of this treatment modality, there are few data outlining the long-term outcome of a large patient cohort.
Methods: Clinical, echocardiographic, hemodynamic and angiographic data on 90 consecutive patients who underwent balloon angioplasty between January 1984 and January 1996 were reviewed.
Results: Mean systolic pressure gradients were reduced from 31 +/- 21 to 8 +/- 9 mm Hg after dilation (p = 0.0001). The mean diameter of the stenotic site, measured in the frontal and lateral views, increased by 38% and 35%, respectively (p = 0.001). Neurologic events occurred in two patients, with one death. An aortic tear occurred in one patient, requiring surgical intervention. Optimal results were defined as a postprocedure gradient < 20 mm Hg and were obtained acutely in 88% of patients. At long-term follow-up (12 years), 53 (72%) of 74 patients with an early optimal result remained free from reintervention. Transverse arch hypoplasia, defined as an arch dimension < 2 SD below the mean for age, was the primary predictor of the need for reintervention.
Conclusions: Although the majority of patients undergoing percutaneous balloon angioplasty for recoarctation of the aorta will achieve long-term benefit, the need for further surgical intervention in those with transverse arch hypoplasia remains high.