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Am J Cardiol. 2012 Sep 1;110(5):702-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.04.053. Epub 2012 May 19.

Dilation of the ascending aorta after balloon valvuloplasty for aortic stenosis during infancy and childhood.

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Department of Cardiology, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Dilation of the ascending aorta (AA) is common in patients with a bicuspid aortic valve. The natural history of the aortic root and AA and the risk factors for dilation have not been characterized in patients with congenital aortic stenosis (AS) treated with balloon valvuloplasty during childhood. The present study was performed to determine the prevalence of aortic dilation in patients with congenital AS before and up to 20 years after balloon valvuloplasty performed during childhood. In patients who underwent balloon valvuloplasty for AS at age ≤ 18 years from 1984 to 2005, the aortic diameter measurements before intervention and at 5-year intervals afterward were recorded and the Z scores calculated. Among 156 patients (median age 1.5 years at valvuloplasty), the AA Z scores were significantly larger than normal before intervention (median Z score 1.5) and at all follow-up points (all p <0.001). Using mixed modeling, with time as a categorical variable (before intervention, 5-year window, 10-year window, and so forth), the mean AA Z score was greater at all postvalvuloplasty points than before the intervention, with mean Z score increases of 1.20 at 5 years and 2.11 at 20 years (p <0.001). Moderate or greater aortic regurgitation early after valvuloplasty was associated with greater AA Z scores than mild or less aortic regurgitation, with a progressive difference over time. More significant residual AS after valvuloplasty was associated with lower AA Z scores over time. In conclusion, AA dilation is common in children with congenital AS and continues to progress over many years after balloon valvuloplasty.

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