The subclavian flap repair for coarctation of the aorta allows potential for growth by utilizing autogenous tissue. Although well documented in young children, its promise in the tiny neonate warrants further evaluation. Since August, 1979, 29 patients, including 24 infants, have undergone subclavian flap repair at the University of Maryland Hospital. Weights ranged from 1.4 to 5 kg (mean 3.2 kg). All patients less than 6 months old had associated intracardiac defects and were in severe congestive failure. Fifteen responded to preoperative prostaglandin infusions. The overall early mortality was 14%; among the neonates it was 21%; and among those operated upon within the first week of life, 33%. There was one intraoperative death among the eight patients who underwent simultaneous pulmonary artery banding. There were no deaths among patients older than 5 days at operation. Four of the five neonates who died had some variant of hypoplastic left heart syndrome, with severe stenosis or atresia of the systemic atrioventricular valve, critical aortic stenosis, or hypoplastic left ventricle. Twenty-two survivors continue to do well up to 3.7 years postoperatively (mean follow-up 26 months). At follow-up all patients are normotensive with brisk lower extremity pulses. Patients now weigh 1.3 to 6.9 (mean 2.3) times their operative weight, and only one patient has a measured arm-to-leg gradient greater than 10 mm Hg (mean gradient 3.7 mm Hg). Seven of the neonates have undergone repeat catheterization, and all had satisfactory growth of the subclavian flap segment of repair and no gradient. Two older patients (3 and 4 years old at operation) have undergone exericse testing 3.7 years after repair, with peak exercise gradients of only 7 and 15 mm Hg. We threfore continue to utilize this technique for the treatment of coarctation even in tiny neonates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine