Histologic Abnormalities of the Ascending Aorta: Effects on Aortic Remodeling after Intracardiac Repair of Tetralogy of Fallot
Texas Heart Institute Journal
We evaluated aortic tissue specimens from patients undergoing tetralogy of Fallot repair, to determine whether histologic abnormalities affect postsurgical aortic remodeling and other patient-related variables. Using light microscopy, we studied full-thickness aortic wall tissue operatively excised from 118 consecutive patients undergoing intracardiac repair of tetralogy of Fallot. We performed multiple linear regression analysis to identify independent predictors of change in aortic root
... n aortic root dimensions, which we measured with echocardiography after repair and every 3 months thereafter. Thirty histologically normal specimens were used as controls. Elastic fiber fragmentation was found in 74.6% of the abnormal specimens, mucoid extracellular matrix accumulation in 49.2%, smooth muscle cell nuclei loss in 39%, smooth muscle cell disorganization in 28.8%, and medial fibrosis in 52.5%. At a mean follow-up time of 83.55 ± 42.08 months, mean aortic sinotubular diameter decreased from 28.79 ± 9.15 to 27.16 ± 8.52 mm/m2 (r =–0.43; P <0.001). Aortic sinotubular diameter decreased by 0.6 mm/m2 among females (β =0.6, SE=0.31; P =0.05) and by 0.88 mm/m2 in patients who had elastic fiber fragmentation or loss (β =0.88, SE=0.38; P =0.02). In bivariate and multiple linear regression analysis, duration of follow-up emerged as an independent predictor of aortic remodeling. The aortic histopathologic changes in our patients had an independent negative impact on the degree of aortic remodeling after surgery. We observed the most improved aortic sinotubular diameter in patients who had either histologically normal aortas or aortas with elastic fragmentation.