Surgery of the dilated aortic root and ascending aorta in pediatric patients: techniques and results

Carrel, Thierry; Berdat, Pascal; Pavlovic, Mladen; Sukhanov, Sergei; Englberger, Lars; Pfammatter, Jean-Pierre
August 2003
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Aug2003, Vol. 24 Issue 2, p249
Academic Journal
Objective: Dilatation of the aortic root is a well-known cardiovascular manifestation in children and adult patients with connective tissue disease (e.g. Marfan syndrome). Dilatation of the ascending aorta is extremely rare and may be associated with bicuspid aortic valve. This report evaluates the incidence of dilatative aortic root and ascending aortic pathology in patients younger than 18 years and analyzes the results obtained after repair and replacement strategies. Methods: Between 1/1995 and 12/2002, a total of 752 operations on the thoracic aorta were performed in adult and pediatric patients. We present our experience with a group of 26 patients <18 years of age, who required isolated surgery of the aortic root and/or ascending aorta because of a dilatative lesion. Fifteen patients had isolated aortic root dilatation (13 of them suffered from Marfan syndrome), eight patients presented with an idiopathic dilatation of the ascending aorta and three patients had dilatation in association with a bicuspid aortic valve. Mean age was 10±4.8 years (4–18 years). Repair of the aortic root with preservation of the aortic valve (Yacoub, David or selective sinus repair) was performed in nine patients, replacement using a homograft was performed in five patients, composite graft with mechanical prosthesis in two patients, with biological prosthesis in one patient and Ross operation was performed in one case. Isolated supracoronary graft replacement was performed in eight patients. Results: Two patients died during hospitalization: a 10-year old girl developed respiratory failure on the 2nd postoperative day and autopsy revealed Ehlers–Danlos syndrome with a massive intrapulmonary emphysema. A 14-year-old Marfan patient with severely depressed preoperative LV function died from low cardiac output following composite-graft, mitral and tricuspid valve repair. One patient required aortic valve replacement 7 days after an aortic valve sparing root repair. There was no additional perioperative morbidity. In the long-term, two patients died from rupture of the thoracic aorta, both following minor non-cardiovascular surgical procedures. Both had normal sized descending and abdominal aorta. Conclusion: Repair of the aortic root and/or ascending aorta in children and adolescent patients can be performed with acceptable early and late results. While the presence of severe comorbidity may adversely affect early outcome, long-term survival was mainly determined by rupture of the descending aorta.


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