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Primary balloon dilatation of coarctation of the aorta in neonates.
  1. A N Redington,
  2. P Booth,
  3. D F Shore,
  4. M L Rigby
  1. Department of Paediatric Cardiology, Brompton Hospital, London.


    Primary balloon dilatation of coarctation of the aorta was attempted in 10 consecutive neonates (age range 2-23 days). The coarctation site was crossed and the balloon inflated in all but one patient. In two patients with associated severe isthmal hypoplasia there was no change in the gradient after dilatation. In the remainder, the residual gradients were trivial and angiography showed complete relief of coarctation. Severe recoarctation developed 5-12 weeks after dilatation in five patients, each considered to have had an excellent initial result. The coarctation was rapidly progressive in three patients in whom Doppler studies within two weeks of the development of recoarctation had shown no significant gradient. In the other two patients progressive restenosis was charted by Doppler examinations over the course of 6-8 weeks. Three patients had a second, initially successful, dilatation procedure. One patient remained well with no residual gradient 18 weeks later. Stenosis recurred within eight weeks in the other two, and both have undergone successful surgical repair. Balloon dilatation of a native coarctation of the aorta gave excellent immediate results in most neonates. Severe isthmal hypoplasia is, however, a contraindication to balloon dilatation and early restenosis is an important problem. These results do not support the continued use of primary balloon dilatation of coarctation of the aorta in neonates.

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