Wide Dissection and Intercostal Vessel Division Allows for Repair of Hypoplastic Aortic Arch Through Thoracotomy.

The approach to coarctation of the aorta with hypoplastic aortic arch is controversial. We evaluated the outcomes in patients with coarctation of the aorta with or without hypoplastic aortic arch operated through a posterior left lateral thoracotomy.
A retrospective cohort of patients with aortic coarctation, who underwent repair between January 2009 and October 2017, was analyzed. Preoperative, postoperative, and echocardiographic characteristics were reviewed. Statistical analysis examined survival, freedom from reintervention, and freedom from recoarctation.
In nine years, 389 patients who underwent surgical treatment for coarctation of the aorta were identified; after exclusion criteria and complete echocardiographic reports, 143 patients were analyzed, of which 29 patients had hypoplastic aortic arch. The modification in the extended end-to-end anastomosis technique was a wide dissection and mobilization of the descending aorta that was achieved due to the ligation and division of 3 to 5 intercostal vessels. In both groups, patients were close to one month of age and had a median weight of 3.6 and 3.4 kg for hypoplastic and nonhypoplastic arch, respectively. In postoperative events, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups ( P = .57 for renal failure, P = .057 for transient, nonpermanent neurologic events, P = .496 for sepsis), as for intensive care unit ( P = .502) and total in-hospital stay ( P = .929). There was one case of postoperative mortality in each group and both were associated with noncardiac comorbidities. Regarding survival (log-rank = 0.060), freedom from reintervention (log-rank = 0.073), and freedom from recoarctation (log-rank = 0.568), there was no statistically significant difference between the groups.
We believe that it is the modified technique that allowed greater mobilization of the aorta and successful repair of hypoplastic arch through thoracotomy, without an increase in paraplegia or other adverse outcomes.