Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 April 2009
To report our experience with balloon dilation of critical aortic valvar stenosis in neonates via the umbilical artery using currently available catheters.
There is no agreement regarding the optimal vascular approach for balloon dilation of critical aortic valvar stenosis in neonates.
Since June of 2005, we have attempted to obtain umbilical arterial access within the first week after birth in all neonates with critical aortic valvar stenosis. In patients in whom umbilical artery access was obtained, we proceeded with an attempt at balloon dilation.
We were presented with 5 patients with critical aortic valvar stenosis within the first week after birth, and the umbilical arterial approach was obtained in all, with effective relief of the stenosis achieved in 4.
The umbilical arterial approach should always be considered for balloon dilation of neonatal critical aortic valvar stenosis. Using currently available catheters, the procedure is safe, simple, and effective even in patients weighing less than 2.5 kilograms. Further experience using this approach is warranted.