Detrimental sequelae on the hemodynamics of the upper left limb after subclavian flap angioplasty in infancy.
The long-term effect of two surgical techniques for repair of coarctation of the aorta in infancy, namely, resection and end-to-end anastomosis (RETE) and subclavian flap angioplasty (SFA) on the blood supply of the upper left limb, was quantified by Doppler spectrum analysis of blood flow velocities in the left brachial artery at rest and during postocclusive reactive hyperemia. Twenty-three patients participated in this study: nine patients after SFA (median age, 8 years), 14 patients after RETE (median age, 8 years), and 10 control subjects (median age, 9.5 years). At rest, a highly significant decrease of blood flow velocities in the left brachial artery was measured in all patients of the SFA group compared with those of the RETE and control groups, as documented by various Doppler spectrum parameters: maximal frequency of advancing curve (p = 0.0001), pulsatility index (p = 0.0005), and resistance index (p = 0.039). During reactive hyperemia, a moderate capacity of physiologic augmentation of blood flow velocities was observed in five patients of the SFA group. This capacity was marginal in two patients with complaints of claudication in the left upper limb during strenuous exercise, which can be related to the number of branches of the left subclavian artery ligated during operation. This study indicates that SFA in infancy may lead to compromised hemodynamics of the upper left limb with potential for symptoms of ischemia during exercise.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association