This study evaluated vascular function and growth of the forearm in nine children (mean age 9.2 years) who had undergone left subclavian flap aortoplasty for the infantile type of coarctation of the aorta many years (mean 9.0) earlier. Variables used to investigate bilateral forearm vascular function included forearm blood flow and resistance measured by strain gauge plethysmography under rest conditions, in response to 30 s of static handgrip exercise at 40% maximal voluntary contraction and in response to 10 min of forearm arterial occlusion (that is, the reactive hyperemic blood flow response). Forearm growth was ascertained by measuring right and left forearm volumes, lengths, circumferences and skinfold thicknesses. Mean arterial pressure at rest in the right and left arms differed by 9% (right 78.2 ± 2.1, left 71.0 ± 2.7 mm Hg; p < 0.05). Forearm blood flow, however, was not significantly different between the surgically altered left arm and the normal right arm under any of the study conditions. Likewise, forearm vascular resistance was not statistically different under any conditions, although the left arm tended to have a lower resistance at rest (right 23.5 ± 3.2, left 18.7 ± 2.0 mm Hg·min·100 ml/ml; p = 0.057). Left forearm anthropometric measurements showed a 9% reduction in volume and a 3 % reduction in circumference and length. In addition, skinfold thickness tended to be larger on the left arm, suggesting that this limb had a smaller muscle mass. In conclusion, early repair with a subclavian flap does not impair vascular function in the altered limb and is associated with only minor reductions in forearm growth variables. Hence, left subclavian flap aortoplasty appears to be a safe and effective procedure for repair of coarctation of the aorta.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine