Comparative Study
Journal Article
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Balloon dilation of severe aortic stenosis in the neonate: comparison of anterograde and retrograde catheter approaches.

OBJECTIVES: We sought to compare anterograde and retrograde balloon dilation of severe aortic valve stenosis in neonates.

BACKGROUND: There is a high incidence of iliofemoral artery complications after retrograde balloon dilation of the aortic valve in the neonate. Therefore, a nonarterial technique of catheter access to the aortic valve would be worth exploring.

METHODS: Group 1 included 11 consecutive patients (median age 6 days, range 1 to 42; median weight 3.5 kg, range 2.16 to 4.25) undergoing attempted anterograde dilation through a femoral venous approach. Group 2 included 15 patients (median age 3 days, range 1 to 35; median weight 3.4 kg, range 2.5 to 4.4 kg) who underwent attempted retrograde dilation, including 2 in whom attempted anterograde approach had failed.

RESULTS: The valve was successfully crossed in 9 of 11 anterograde and 13 of 15 retrograde dilations. In both groups, the peak gradient across the valve decreased significantly (both p = 0.001). On echocardiography, the jet width of the aortic incompetence/ annulus diameter ratio was 0.16 +/- 0.08 (mean +/- SD) after anterograde and 0.51 +/- 0.24 after retrograde dilation (p = 0.03), possibly because of unrecognized valve leaflet perforation. Two patients in group 1 developed persistent, mild mitral insufficiency. Femoral artery thrombosis developed in one patient after anterograde dilation and in eight after retrograde dilation (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: This series demonstrates that an anterograde approach for balloon angioplasty of severe neonatal aortic valve stenosis is feasible, achieves good hemodynamic relief and lessens morbidity compared with retrograde arterial techniques.

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