Hypoplasia of the transverse aortic arch is frequently associated with isthmic coarctation in many patients referred for operation in early infancy, and the surgical technique should be adjusted to suit each type of anatomic lesion. Referring to the anatomic description of hypoplastic aortic arch reported by Moulaert and associates, between January 1988 and July 1991 we operated on 32 consecutive infants (≤3 months old) using a surgical approach based on the echocardiographic and angiographic findings; 20 patients (62%) were younger than 2 weeks of age and 20 patients (62%) had associated intracardiac lesions. According to the location, extension, and size of the hypoplasia of the aortic arch, we had three groups of patients: in group 1 (21 patients) we performed resection and extended end-to-end anastomosis, as previously described in 1985; in group 2 (5 patients) we performed resection, posterior end-to-end anastomosis, and anterior subclavian flap enlargement; and in group 3 (6 patients) we performed direct side-to-end anastomosis between ascending and descending aorta through a median sternotomy. One patient died during the postoperative course in group 3. With a mean follow-up time of 26 months we had 4 cases (13%) of "residual" or "recurrent" coarctation in group 1, successfully repaired at 2 months of age by an anterior approach in 2 patients and by percutaneous angioplasty in the others. In conclusion, hypoplastic aortic arch in neonates represents a common difficulty, and optimal reconstruction of the entire aortic arch is mandatory to reduce operative mortality and incidence of recoarctation, especially when there are complex associated intracardiac lesions or left ventricular dysfunction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine