Mechanism of Elevated Innominate Artery Pressures in Supravalvular Aortic Stenosis
Patients with supravalvular aortic stenosis frequently have higher phasic and mean blood pressures in the innominate artery than in the aorta distal to the stenosis, a finding never fully explained. Theoretically, this phenomenon could result from the impact of a jet upon blood within the innominate artery. Slowing of the jet would convert kinetic into potential energy, thus increasing pressure within the innominate artery. The aorta distal to the innominate artery would receive blood whose kinetic energy had been dissipated and would consequently remain at the same pressure as the aorta proximal to the origin of the innominate artery. This hypothesis was tested in a model simulating supravalvular aortic stenosis. Cinematography showed a jet directed into the innominate artery. Only after this jet was dispersed, did fluid turn backward to flow into the distal portion of the aorta. Observed pressure rises in the innominate artery corresponded closely with values predicted from the estimated kinetic energy of the jet. Dispersion of the jet by replacement of the stenotic orifice with an equally obstructive screen or proximal displacement of the stenosis (simulating valvular aortic stenosis) abolished the pressure difference. The results obtained were thus entirely consistent with the mechanism proposed to explain the elevated innominate artery pressures seen in supravalvular aortic stenosis.
- Received February 24, 1970.
- Accepted March 16, 1970.
- © 1970 American Heart Association, Inc.