Author(s): Doff B McElhinney, James E Lock, John F Keane, Adrian M Moran, Steven D Colan
Transcatheter balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAVP) has become the first-line treatment for critical aortic stenosis (AS) in neonates. However, little is known about the growth and function of left heart structures or about patterns of reintervention on the left heart after neonatal BAVP.
Methods and Results
Between 1985 and 2002, 113 patients underwent neonatal BAVP at ≤60 days of age. There were 16 early deaths (14%), with a significant decrease from 1985 to 1993 (22%) to 1994 to 2002 (4%), and 6 patients had successful early conversion to a univentricular circulation. In the short term, the mean relative gradient reduction was 54±26%, and significant aortic regurgitation (AR) developed in 15% of patients. The 91 early survivors with a biventricular circulation were followed up for 6.3±5.3 years, during which time there was a steady increase in the frequency of significant AR. Freedom from moderate or severe AR was 65% at 5 years. In almost all patients with a baseline aortic annulus z score less than −1, the annulus diameter increased to within the normal range within 1 to 2 years. Similarly, left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic dimension z scores, which ranged from −5 to 7.5 before BAVP, normalized within 1 to 2 years in nearly all patients with a predilation z score less than −1. Among early survivors with a biventricular circulation, reintervention-free survival on the LV outflow tract was 65% at 1 year and 48% at 5 years, with younger age, higher pre- and post-BAVP gradients, and a larger balloon-annulus diameter ratio associated with decreased reintervention-free survival (P<0.01). Seventeen surgical interventions were performed on the aortic valve in 15 patients, including replacement in 7. Survival free from aortic valve replacement was 84% at 5 years.
BAVP for AS during the first 60 days of life results in short-term relief of AS in the majority of patients. Among early survivors, initially small left heart structures may be associated with worse subacute outcomes but typically normalize within 1 year. Reintervention for residual/recurrent AS or iatrogenic AR is relatively common, particularly during the first year after BAVP, but aortic valve replacement during early childhood is seldom necessary.