Coarctation of aorta is associated with left ventricular stiffness, left atrial dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension

Alexander C. Egbe, William R. Miranda, Heidi M. Connolly, Barry A. Borlaug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Brachial systolic blood pressure (BP) is the most commonly used metric for monitoring hypertension. However, recent studies suggest that brachial systolic BP underestimates left ventricle (LV) systolic load in patients with coarctation of aorta (COA). Since brachial systolic BP is used as a surrogate of arterial afterload in clinical practice, it is important to determine how well it correlates with LV remodeling and stiffness in patients with COA as compared to patients with idiopathic hypertension. Methods: This is cross-sectional study of COA patients with hypertension (COA group) and adults with idiopathic hypertension (control group). Both groups were matched 1:1 based on age, sex, BMI and systolic BP. We hypothesized that the COA group will have higher LV systolic and diastolic stiffness, and more advanced left atrial remodeling and pulmonary hypertension. We assessed LV systolic stiffness using end-systolic elastance, and diastolic stiffness using LV stiffness constant and chamber capacitance (LV-end-diastolic volume at an end-diastolic pressure of 20mm Hg) Results: There were 112 patients in each group. Although both groups had similar systolic BP, the COA group had a higher end-systolic elastance (2.37 ± 0.74 vs 2.11 ± 0.54 mm Hg/mL, P= .008), higher LV stiffness constant (6.91 ± 0.81 vs 5.93 ± 0.79, P= .006) and lower LV-end-diastolic volume at an end-diastolic pressure of 20mm Hg (58 ± 9 vs 67 ± 11 mL/m2, P< .001). Additionally, the COA group had more advanced left atrial remodeling and higher pulmonary artery pressures which is corroborating evidence of high LV filling pressure. Conclusions: COA patients have more LV stiffness and abnormal hemodynamics compared to non-COA patients with similar systolic BP, suggesting that systolic BP may underestimate LV systolic load in this population. Further studies are required to determine whether the observed LV stiffness and dysfunction translates to more cardiovascular events during follow-up, and whether adopting a stricter systolic BP target in clinical practice or changing threshold for COA intervention will lead to less LV stiffness and better clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-58
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican heart journal
StatePublished - Nov 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Coarctation of aorta is associated with left ventricular stiffness, left atrial dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this