Is endovascular repair the new gold standard for primary adult coarctation?

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Objective: Primary adult aortic coarctation (PAAC) is an unusual cause of hypertension. The standard of care includes surgical repair, which can be associated with considerable morbidity and operative risk. Although balloon angioplasty has been successfully used in paediatric and adolescent patients with coarctation, little information exists regarding the endovascular repair of PAAC. This study examines the procedural safety and efficacy of endovascular repair of PAAC along with midterm outcomes. Methods: Between January 2000 and July 2008, 16 patients underwent endovascular repair of PAAC. All patients were hypertensive with 13 patients (81.3%) receiving medical therapy. Symptoms included chest pain (n=11, 69%), progressive fatigue (n=5, 31%), exercise intolerance (n=4, 25%) and shortness of breath (n=3, 19%). Associated cardiac concerns included depressed ejection fraction (n=6, 38%), pulmonary hypertension (n=5, 31%), ascending aortic dilatation (n=5, 31%) and bicuspid aortic valve (n=4, 25%). Endovascular repair was achieved using a percutaneous femoral approach. Balloon angioplasty of the coarctation was performed prior to treatment using a balloon-expandable uncovered stent. Aortic diameters were assessed using intravascular ultrasound. Pre- and post-procedure pressure gradients were measured and success was determined as a residual pressure gradient across the treated aorta of less than 20. mmHg. Results: The male:female (M:F) ratio was 9:7 with a mean age of 39.7 years. Procedural success was 100%. Mean pre-procedural aortic diameter was 8.4. mm (3-14. mm) and mean post-procedural aortic diameter was 16.3. mm (10-20. mm) (p=0.04). The mean pre-procedural pressure gradient was 48.3. mmHg (25-100. mmHg) and the mean post-procedural pressure gradient was 0.5. mmHg (0-15. mmHg) (p=0.05). Twelve patients received one stent, two patients received two stents, one patient received three stents and one other patient received a thoracic stent graft. The rate of paraplegia was 0% with no blood transfusions, strokes or deaths. Follow-up ranged from 12 to 72 months (mean. =22.8. months). One patient required re-intervention with an additional stent 14 months following the initial procedure and all the patients remain symptom-free. Conclusion: Endovascular repair of PAAC is safe and effective and compares favourably with open surgical repair. Midterm follow-up suggests that the treatment is durable and may be an alternative to surgical repair. Although this is the largest endovascular treatment series for PAAC reported to date, additional study and follow-up are needed. © 2010 European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.




Wheatley, G. H., Koullias, G. J., Rodriguez-Lopez, J. A., Ramaiah, V. G., & Diethrich, E. B. (2010). Is endovascular repair the new gold standard for primary adult coarctation? European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 38(3), 305–310.

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