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Coarctation of the aorta life and health 20-44 years after surgical repair.
  1. A B Stewart,
  2. R Ahmed,
  3. C M Travill,
  4. C G Newman
  1. Department of Paediatric Cardiology, Westminster Hospital, London.


    OBJECTIVE--To examine the health and lifestyle of a group of patients who had repair of coarctation of the aorta 20-44 years ago (these were the first such operations in the United Kingdom) and to see how the results would influence current management strategies. DESIGN--Attempts were made to contact all patients by questionnaire. They were then requested to attend for a clinical examination. SETTING--Patients had their initial surgery at the Westminster Hospital (by Charles Drew) and the follow up examination at the same hospital. PATIENTS--149 operations were performed. 70 of the 106 patients presumed to be alive were traced and 62 replied. 42 attended for examination. Only patients with the diagnosis of simple coarctation were included. Some patients had had coincidental ligation of a patent ductus arteriosus but none had any other cardiac abnormality requiring surgical or medical treatment. Those who died during the follow up period were described in paper by Bobby et al (Br Heart J 1991;65:271-6). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Current symptoms and life situations, evidence of cardiac disease, further cardiac surgery, current and retrospective blood pressures, and Doppler echocardiographic examination. RESULTS--29 (69%) had cardiovascular disorder. Doppler echocardiography did not show previously unrecognised major recoarctation. 19 (46%) had hypertension at follow up and there was evidence of enlargement of the aortic root or arch in seven (16%) patients, who tended to have had surgery at a later age. No evidence of cerebrovascular accident was found. CONCLUSIONS--In this group of patients with surgically repaired simple coarctation, late morbidity (particularly aortic aneurysm, aortic valve disease, and ischaemic heart disease) was common. The incidence of intracranial haemorrhage seemed to have been reduced by surgical repair. The integrity of the surgery remained good. Many patients did not have any regular cardiovascular review. Long-term anxiety related to early surgical experiences was evident. Even after apparently successful surgical repair of aortic coarctation. It would be prudent for all patients to have long-term review.

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