Preoperative Use of CT Angiography in Infants With Coarctation of the Aorta

Kirsten Rose-Felker, Joshua D. Robinson, Carl L. Backer, Cynthia K. Rigsby, Osama M. Eltayeb, Michael C. Mongé, Karen Rychlik, Christina L. Sammet, Jeffrey G. Gossett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Computed tomographic angiography (CTA) and echocardiography (echo) are used preoperatively in coarctation of the aorta to define arch hypoplasia and great vessel branching. We sought to determine differences in quantitative measurements, as well as surgical utility, between modalities.

METHODS: Infants (less than six months) with both CTA and echo prior to coarctation repair from 2004 to 2013 were included. Measurements were compared and correlated with surgical approach. Three surgeons reviewed de-identified images to predict approach and characterize utility. Computed tomographic angiography radiation dose was calculated.

RESULTS: Thirty-three patients were included. No differences existed in arch measurements between echo and CTA ( z-score: -2.59 vs -2.43; P = .47). No differences between modalities were seen for thoracotomy ( z-score: -2.48 [echo] vs -2.31 [CTA]; P = .48) or sternotomy ( z-score: -3.13 [echo] vs -3.08 [CTA]; P = .84). Computed tomographic angiography delineated great vessel branching pattern in two patients with equivocal echo findings ( P = .60). Surgeons rated CTA as far more useful than echo in understanding arch hypoplasia and great vessel branching in cases where CTA was done to resolve anatomical questions that remain after echo evaluation. Two of three surgeons were more likely to choose the surgical approach taken based on CTA (surgeon A, P = .02; surgeon B, P = .01). Radiation dose averaged 2.5 (1.6) mSv and trended down from 2.9 mSv (1.8 mSv; n = 20) to 1.6 mSv (0.5 mSv; n = 7) ( P = .06) with new technology.

CONCLUSION: Although CTA and echo measurements of the aorta do not differ, CTA better delineates branching and surgeons strongly prefer it for three-dimensional arch anatomy. We recommend CTA for patients with anomalous arch branching patterns, diffuse or complex hypoplasia, or unusual arch morphology not fully elucidated by echo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-202
Number of pages7
JournalWorld journal for pediatric & congenital heart surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • coarctation of the aorta
  • computed tomographic angiogram
  • echocardiogram
  • neonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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