Article Text


Coarctation of the aorta in infancy and childhood.
  1. E A Shinebourne,
  2. A S Tam,
  3. A M Elseed,
  4. M Paneth,
  5. S C Lennox,
  6. W P Cleland


    The management and results of treatment in 181 children with coarctation of the aorta are presented. In this series, 79% of the patients presented in the first year of life and 55% presented as neonates. One hundred and fifty patients were operated on, with a total surgical mortality of 21%. Only one surgical death occurred in those operated on after 3 months of age. The higher mortality in young infants is closely related to associated cardiac anomalies and to the frequency of aortic and isthmal hypoplasia. Our findings suggest that neonates presenting with heart failure and coarctation should be operated on early, as the surgical mortality under 6 weeks is 45%, whereas there is an 86% mortality in neonates who were not operated on. Analysis of follow-up indicates that when operation can be performed electively the optimal period for sugical treatment is between 6 months and 1 year of age. If operation is performed after this age, there may be persistent systemic hypertension despite relief of aortic obstruction.

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