Purpose: Little information is available about the dilatation mechanism in children. This prospective study aimed to (1) evaluate the dilatation mechanism of balloon angioplasty in children with arterial stenosis, and (2) compare the morphological changes seen by intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and angiography.
Methods: Twenty consecutive patients, who had undergone a total of 23 procedures, were examined before and immediately after balloon angioplasty with a 4.3 Fr, 30 MHz rotational tip IVUS system. The lesions for IVUS study had resulted from coarctation of the aorta in six patients, pulmonary arterial stenosis in five, Blalock-Taussig shunt stenosis in three, subclavian artery stenosis in two, renal artery stenosis in two, coronary artery stenosis in one and ductus arteriosus in one.
Results: Four distinctive morphological types were identified: type I with arterial stretching, type IIa with superficial tearing, type IIb with deep intimal-medial tearing, type III with flap formation, and type IV with dissection. The diameter of the narrowest site before and after balloon angioplasty increased significantly from 2. 1 +/- 1.4 mm to 4.6 +/- 3.4 mm (p < 0.001). Eighteen of the 23 angioplasty procedures (78%) were considered to be successful, with a dilatation ratio of more than 50%. In most patients with successful dilatation, non-stretch mechanisms such as tearing, flap formation, or dissection were found. The positive percent (70%) of non-stretch mechanisms seen by IVUS was significantly higher than the positive findings (39%) by angiography (Chi2 = 6.47, p < 0.02).
Conclusions: Non-stretch morphology of the arterial wall may be a common mechanism of dilatation after balloon angioplasty in children with arterial stenosis. IVUS is a useful modality for evaluating the effectiveness of balloon angioplasty and the mechanism of dilatation in individual cases.