Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) may be associated with other anomalies, most frequently cardiovascular in nature. Despite fetal echocardiography, diagnosis of an accompanying cardiac malformation often is not made until after birth and sometimes not until after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been instituted. Aortic coarctation associated with CDH may occur as an isolated, surgically correctable malformation or it may be a component of the usually fatal left heart 'hypoplasia' or 'smallness' syndrome. The authors present two cases of aortic coarctation associated with CDH requiring ECMO that illustrate the management challenges of these coincident diagnosis. In one case, the accompanying coarctation was suspected and required precannulation angiography for confirmation, whereas in the other case, the diagnosis of coarctation was not made until after ECMO cannulation. Depending on its anatomic location and severity, an aortic coarctation associated with life-threatening CDH may limit the physiological efficacy of venoarterial ECMO. Furthermore, arterial cannulation for extracorporeal support requires that flow through the remaining cartotid artery be maintained during aortic reconstruction, which may prove difficult for lesions best treated by subclavian flap angioplasty. When the diagnosis of coincident aortic coarctation and CDH is suspected or proven before institution of extracorporeal support, serious consideration should be given to venovenous bypass, because this may provide better postductal oxygenation and facilitate aortic repair with the option of left carotid artery inflow occlusion.
- Aortic coarctation
- Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation