Between 1968 and 1983, 54 patients underwent surgery for symptomatic aortic arch and pulmonary artery anomalies at St Christopher's Hospital for Children. Presenting symptoms included stridor, wheeze, apnea, recurrent pulmonary infections, or dysphagia. Diagnosis was established with chest roentgenogram, bronchoscopy, barium esophagram, and arteriography. Four types of vascular anomalies were encountered; double aortic arch (24 patients), right aorotic arch with left ligamentum arteriosum (17 patients), anomalous innominate artery (10 patients), and pulmonary artery sling (three patients). There were no intraoperative deaths and only one postoperative death. All surviving patients had immediate relief of their severe respiratory or swallowing symptoms. Mild respiratory symptoms persisted postoperatively from 3 months to 4 years and included frequent or severe upper respiratory infections, persistent cough, stridor and pneumonia. Five of the 53 surviving patients were lost to follow up. The remaining 48 patients were followed from 6 months to 14 years and all but one patient noted complete resolution of all respiratory symptoms. Twenty-nine patients at follow up were old enough to undergo pulmonary function testing including vital capacity, functional residual capacity, and inspiratory and expiratory flow volume loops. Seventeen of these 29 asymptomatic patients consented to these studies, and nine of these patients had abnormal flow volume loops indicative of significant central airway obstruction; the other eight studies were normal. We conclude that surgical repair for vascular rings and slings is safe and symptomatically efficacious. However, anatomic tracheal or bronchial distortion persists in a significant number of these patients as evaluated by pulmonary function studies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health