Coarctation of the aorta: Lifelong surveillance is mandatory following surgical repair

Morgan L. Brown, Harold M. Burkhart, Heidi M. Connolly, Joseph A. Dearani, Frank Cetta, Zhuo Li, William C. Oliver, Carole A. Warnes, Hartzell V. Schaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Objectives The objective of our study was to review the long-term outcomes of patients undergoing surgical repair of aortic coarctation. Background Surgical repair of aortic coarctation has been performed at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, for over 60 years. Methods Between 1946 and 2005, 819 patients with isolated coarctation of the aorta underwent primary operative repair. Medical records were reviewed and questionnaires mailed to the patients. Results Mean age at repair was 17.2 ± 13.6 years. The majority (83%) had pre-operative hypertension. Operations included simple and extended end-to-end anastomosis (n = 632), patch angioplasty (n = 72), interposition grafting (n = 49), bypass grafting (n = 30), and subclavian flap or "other" (n = 35). Overall early mortality (<30 days) was 2.4%. In the previous 30 years (n = 225), there were no operative deaths. Mean follow-up was 17.4 ± 13.9 years, with a maximum of 59.3 years. Actuarial survival rates were 93.3%, 86.4%, and 73.5% at 10, 20, and 30 years, respectively. When compared to an age- and sex-matched population, long-term survival was decreased (p < 0.001). Older age at repair (>20 yrs) and pre-operative hypertension were associated with decreased survival (p < 0.001). Patients age <9 years age at repair had significantly less hypertension at 5 to 15 years of follow-up (p < 0.001). Rates of freedom from re-intervention on the descending aorta were 96.7%, 92.2%, and 89.4% at 10, 20, and 30 years, respectively. Younger age at time of repair (p < 0.001) and an end-to-end anastomosis technique (p < 0.001) were independently associated with lower rates of re-intervention on the descending aorta. Conclusions Primary repair of isolated coarctation of the aorta was performed with a low rate of mortality. However, long-term survival was reduced compared with that in an age- and sex-matched population, and many patients required further reoperation. These findings emphasize that patients with aortic coarctation need early recognition and intervention, as well as lifelong informed follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1020-1025
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 10 2013


  • aortic coarctation
  • cardiac surgery
  • hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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