Surgical unroofing of intramural anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery in pediatric patients: Single-center perspective

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Background:Intramural anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery (AAOCA) is associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death. This is amenable to surgical coronary unroofing, but outcomes studies are lacking.Objective:To perform a comprehensive review of our institutional experience with pediatric patients with AAOCA who underwent surgical repair with unroofing of the intramural segment, focusing on preoperative and postoperative course and testing as well as intraoperative findings.Methods:A retrospective cohort study was conducted to evaluate patients with AAOCA status post–coronary unroofing at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Data extraction included symptoms, preoperative and postoperative imaging and testing, surgical findings, and postoperative clinical course.Results:From January 1999 to December 12, 2015, 63 patients underwent unroofing at a median age of 13 years (0.5-18 years). The majority underwent unroofing of an intramural right coronary (79%); 21% had an intramural left AAOCA. Symptoms suggestive of possible ischemia were present in about 50%. Additional structural cardiac anomalies were present in 33%. Transthoracic echocardiography was diagnostic in 60 of 63 (95%) and correlated with surgical findings in all cases. There was no surgical mortality associated with the unroofing, and no additional coronary reinterventions were performed. The median duration of postoperative follow-up was 3.1 years (7 days to 13.6 years). Symptoms either persisted or developed in 46% postoperatively. Postoperative exercise stress testing, stress echocardiography, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging were performed in 76%, 8%, and 20%, respectively, of the cohort. None identified findings consistent with reversible coronary ischemia. Three patients had sudden cardiac arrest (1 death) after surgery without an identified residual coronary abnormality.Conclusions:Transthoracic echocardiography, with carefully designed coronary imaging protocols, can be diagnostic in accurately identifying intramural AAOCA in pediatric patients. Unroofing can be performed safely with no early morbidity, but symptoms can persist (including rare life-threatening events) without evidence of ischemia by postoperative provocative testing.

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