Cystic medial necrosis in coarctation of the aorta: a potential factor contributing to adverse consequences observed after percutaneous balloon angioplasty of coarctation sites.
Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty has been shown to be both feasible and efficacious for the treatment of aortic coarctation. Recent reports, however, have indicated that the development of aortic aneurysms at or near the coarctation segment may complicate attempts to treat this lesion by catheter-based intervention. Accordingly, we examined the light microscopic features of coarctation segments excised at surgery (n = 31) or obtained at autopsy (n = 2) in 33 patients with coarctation of the aorta. Cystic medial necrosis, defined as depletion and disarray of elastic tissue, was observed in each of the 33 specimens. In the majority of coarctation specimens (22 of 33 or 67%) the extent of cystic medial necrosis, graded semiquantitatively on a scale of 0 (normal aorta) to 3+, was severe (3+). The finding that cystic medial necrosis represents a consistent histologic feature of coarctation of the aorta provides a pathologic basis for the formation of aneurysms observed after balloon angioplasty of coarctation sites.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association