Thirty-six patients have been operated on for coarctation of the aorta. The age at operation ranged from 4 to 45 years with a mean of 14 years. Preoperative systolic blood pressure (BP) was above the normal mean + 2 SD in 34 (94%) of the patients. The surgical techniques used for correction of coarctation were: Resection and end-to-end anastomosis (50%), resection and graft interposition (25%), patch graft angioplasty (22%) and subclavian artery to descending aorta bypass graft (3%). There was no hospital mortality. Systolic BP measured on hospital discharge available in 30 patients showed an average decrease of 26 mm Hg. The mean follow-up period in 16 of 30 patients (53%) was 7.2 years. All of these patients had a further decrease in systolic BP, and in 14 of 16 (87%) BP was within the mean + 2 SD. Twelve patients were examined in the vascular diagnostic laboratory to determine adequacy of the repair by hemodynamic measures. After average of 7.8 years following operation, all of them had ankle systolic BP higher than brachial systolic pressure; ankle BP did not drop after treadmill walking excercise and the directional Doppler velocity curves from the legs were normal. This study suggested that BP continued to decrease after hospital discharge. We were unable to demonstrate correlation between age at operation and decrease in BP. The adequacy of surgical repair can be assessed by mild effort stress test combined with ankle/arm ratio measurement and directional Doppler velocity curves.
- Exercise test