DOI: 10.1093/icvts/ivad210 ISSN: 2753-670X

Aortic growth after arch reconstruction with patch augmentation: a 2-decade experience

Dominic P Recco, Shannen B Kizilski, Reena M Ghosh, Breanna Piekarski, Ashwin Prakash, David M Hoganson



Optimal aortic sizing during aortic arch reconstruction remains unknown. Negative effects of arch under- or oversizing are well-published. We aimed to characterize longitudinal aortic growth after patch-augmented arch reconstruction to identify the initial reconstructed arch size that results in normal mid-term arch dimensions.


Single-centre, retrospective review of infants undergoing Damus-Kaye-Stansel (DKS) or non-DKS patch-augmented aortic arch reconstruction between 2000 and 2021. Ascending aorta, proximal and distal transverse arch, aortic isthmus (AIsth) and descending aorta dimensions were measured in postoperative echocardiograms (<3 months from index operation) and cross-sectional imaging (>12 months). Longitudinal changes to aortic dimensions and z-scores were analysed. Secondary outcomes included reintervention, valve and ventricular function, mortality and transplantation.


Fifty-four patients (16 DKS, 38 non-DKS) were included. At 6.3 [2.2, 12.0]-year follow-up, all aortic segments grew significantly in both groups, while z-scores remained unchanged except for non-DKS proximal and distal transverse arch z-scores, which significantly increased (P < 0.05 each). When stratified by initial postoperative z-score (z < −1, −1 ≤ z ≤ 1, z > 1), non-DKS patients with initial AIsth z-score <−1 had a final z-score significantly smaller than both the targeted z-score zero (P = 0.014) and final z-score in a group with initial postoperative z-score ±1 (P = 0.009). Valve and ventricular function remained stable. Eighteen patients required reintervention, 1 died and 1 underwent transplant.


Over mid-term follow-up, aortic growth after arch reconstruction with patch augmentation was proportional when repaired to normal z-score dimensions, aside from proximal transverse arch, which disproportionately dilated. AIsth undersizing prevailed mid-term and trended towards a higher reintervention rate. Initial reconstruction between z-score 0 and +1 resulted in maintenance of that z-score size at mid-term follow-up. Overall, it is crucial to achieve targeted aortic sizing at index operation to maintain appropriate aortic dimensions over time and reduce reintervention risk with specific focus on the AIsth.

More from our Archive