Severe aortic coarctation in infants less than 3 months: Successful palliation by balloon angioplasty

P. Syamasundar Rao, Saadeh B. Jureidini, Ian C. Balfour, Gautam K. Singh, Su chiung Chen

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46 Scopus citations


The optimal management strategy of the neonate and young infant with native aortic coarctation (AC) is controversial. We reviewed our experience with balloon angioplasty (BA) in neonates and infants ≤ 3 months to test our thesis that BA provides successful palliation, defined as avoidance of surgery for ≥ 4 weeks along with control of presenting symptoms. We also compared the results of the transumbilical arterial (UA), transfemoral arterial (FA) and transfemoral venous anterograde (FVA) approaches we have used to accomplish BA. During a 6.5-year period ending June 2001, fifty-one neonates and infants ≤ 3 months presenting with heart failure, hypertension or both underwent UA (n = 16), FA (n = 26) and FVA (n = 9) balloon coarctation angioplasty. Immediate and follow-up results were evaluated. Acute reduction of peak-to-peak gradients across the coarctation (40 ± 17 mmHg vs. 5 ± 6 mmHg; p < 0.001), increase in diameter of the coarcted segment (2.2 ± 0.5 mm vs. 5.6 ± 0.8 mm; p < 0.001) and improvement in symptomatology occurred following BA. Surgical relief of aortic obstruction was required in 4 infants at 5, 21, 24 and 28 days after the procedure. Effective palliation was thus achieved in the remaining 47 infants (92%). During intermediate-term follow-up, twenty-two infants (50%) developed recoarctation requiring repeat balloon (n = 14) or surgical (n = 8) intervention 2-10 months (median, 3 months) after initial BA. The indication for reintervention was hypertension in all patients. At a median follow-up of 3 years (range, 0.5-5.5 years), blood pressures remained low (98 ± 11 mmHg) with an arm/leg blood pressure gradient of 4 ± 6 mmHg. Comparison of the groups revealed similar effectiveness both immediately and at follow-up. However, femoral artery complications were seen in only the FA group. Based on these data, we conclude that effective palliation is achieved with BA in all 3 groups, femoral artery complications are seen only in the FA group and BA is an excellent alternative to surgical intervention in the management of native AC in neonates and young infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-208
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Invasive Cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003


  • Aortic coarctation
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Infants
  • Neonates
  • Transcatheter management


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