There is no systematic assessment of available evidence on effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of balloon dilatation and stenting for aortic coarctation.Methods and Results—
We systematically searched 4 online databases to identify and select relevant studies of balloon dilatation and stenting for aortic coarctation based on a priori criteria (PROSPERO 2014:CRD42014014418). We quantitatively synthesized results for each intervention from single-arm studies and obtained pooled estimates for relative effectiveness from pairwise and network meta-analysis of comparative studies. Our primary analysis included 15 stenting (423 participants) and 12 balloon dilatation studies (361 participants), including patients ≥10 years of age. Post-treatment blood pressure gradient reduction to ≤20 and ≤10 mm Hg was achieved in 89.5% (95% confidence interval, 83.7–95.3) and 66.5% (44.1–88.9%) of patients undergoing balloon dilatation, and in 99.5% (97.5–100.0%) and 93.8% (88.5–99.1%) of patients undergoing stenting, respectively. Odds of achieving ≤20 mm Hg were lower with balloon dilatation as compared with stenting (odds ratio, 0.105 [0.010–0.886]). Thirty-day survival rates were comparable. Numerically more patients undergoing balloon dilatation experienced severe complications during admission (6.4% [2.6–10.2%]) compared with stenting (2.6% [0.5–4.7%]). This was supported by meta-analysis of head-to-head studies (odds ratio, 9.617 [2.654–34.845]) and network meta-analysis (odds ratio, 16.23, 95% credible interval: 4.27–62.77) in a secondary analysis in patients ≥1 month of age, including 57 stenting (3397 participants) and 62 balloon dilatation studies (4331 participants).Conclusions—
Despite the limitations of the evidence base consisting predominantly of single-arm studies, our review indicates that stenting achieves superior immediate relief of a relevant pressure gradient compared with balloon dilatation.