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Congenital Aortic Stenosis: Some Observations on the Natural

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  • Canad. Med. Ass. J.Sept. 19, 1964, vol. 91 PECKHAM .i.rn OTHERS: CONGENITAL AORTIC STENOSIS 639

    Congenital Aortic Stenosis: Some Observations on theNatural History and Clinical AssessmentGERALD B. PECKHAM, M.D.,* JOHN D. KEITH, M.D. and

    JOHN R. EVANS, M.D., Toronto

    SOMMAIRE

    Les auteurs ont pass6 en revue trois centsmalades dont l'&ge maximum ne d6pas-sait pas 30 ans et chez lesquels avait 6t6port6 le diagnostic de st.nose de l'aorte.Cette 6tude avait pour but de recuejilir desrenseignements sur 1'exactitude du bilanclinique et sur l'.volution clinique naturellede la maladie laiss6e sans traitement. Lamort subite s'est produite rarement et uni-quement chez des malades pr6sentant lessignes dliniques d'une occlusion grave.Chez les nourrissons, l'apparition pr6coceet la nature mortelle de la pathologie6taient la cons6quence d'autres l6sionscardiaques. Chez 83 malades, la corr6lationdes signes cliniques avec les donn6es deI'hrmodynamique indiquait qu'une st6nosegrave existait si le bruit systolique s'ac-compagnait d'un fr6missement et d'uneaugmentation de la pulsation du ventriculegauche, d'une diminution du pouls del'art.re brachiale ou d'une hypertrophie duventricule gauche sur l'6lectrocardiogram-me. L'examen clinique n'a pas permisd'.tablir avec certitude le siege de 1'oc-clusion, mais un bruit pr6cose d'6jectionsystolique constituait une forte preuvequ'il ne s'agissait pas d'une st6nose sous-valvulaire.

  • 640 PECKHAM AND OTHERS: CONGENITAL AORTIC STENOSIS Canad. Med. Ass. J.Sept. 19, 1964, vol. 91

    30 mm. Hg or greater, in agreement with resultsreported by Hancock, Fleming and Abelmann.'5' 16A standard 12-lead electrocardiogram was per-formed on all patients, and criteria for the diagnosisof atrial and ventricular hypertrophy were thoseof Keith, Rowe and Vlad7 for children, and ofGrant8 for adults. The cardiothoracic ratio andevidence of poststenotic dilatation of the ascendingaorta were obtained from chest roentgenograms.

    TABLE 1.-INCIDENCE OF ASSOCIATED ABNORMALITIES IN25 PATIENTS WITH CONGENITAL AORTIC STENOSIS*

    Number ofType of lesion patients

    Patent ductus arteriosus.Endocardial fibroelastosis.Coarctation of the aorta.Ventricular septal defect.Pulmonary stenosis.Atrial septal defect (secundum).Mitral stenosis.

    *19 patients under 18 months of age.

    141154422

    TABLE 11.-CLINICAL FINDINGS IN 300 PATIENTS WITH CONGENITALAGETIC STENOSIS AT VARIOUS AGE GROUPS

    iSmo.-Age in years 0-1 4 yr. 5-9 10-14 15-20 21-30 Total

    No. of patients 24 38 84 101 39 14 300

    SymptomS and Signs:Dyspnea 18Syncope 0Angina 0Heart failure 18SyStolic thrill 1Ejection click 6LV impulse 1Pulse pressure

    25 mm.Hgor less 2

    ElectrocardiogramLVH 10RVH 10

    X-RayCTR>50%Postst'notic

    dilatation

    16

    0

    1102

    34236

    6420715335

    141240905754

    191172

    321524

    13653114

    14

    71341825

    239158134

    17 31 43 17 4 114

    16 48 67 26 12 1793 0 0 0 0 13

    23

    1

    30

    14

    38

    22

    9

    12

    4

    4

    120

    53

    abnormal. The presence of a systolic thrill, in-creased left ventricular impulse or reduced pulsepressure was exceedingly rare in patients underone year of age.The electrocardiogram (EGG) showed evidence

    of left ventricular hypertrophy by voltage in 179patients, and 63 of these showed the "strain" patternof T-wave inversion in the left precordial leads. In13 patients under 18 months of age with multiplecardiac lesions, right ventricular hypertrophy alonewas present in 10 and was associated with leftventricular hypertrophy in three more. No electro-cardiographic abnormality was detected in 108patients.The cardiothoracic ratio was greater than 50%

    in 120 cases. Poststenotic dilatation of the ascend-ing aorta was noted in 53 cases on chest roentgeno-gram or fluoroscopy and was recognized chiefly inpatients over five years of age.Sudden death occurred in four patients in this

    series at 6, 8, 12 and 16 years of age. In each pa-tient there was a thrill associated with the murmurand an increased left ventricular impulse. TheEGG showed left ventricular hypertrophy with astrain pattern in three patients and complete leftbundle branch block in the fourth.The incidence of associated lesions was higher

    than that reported by others," but this might beexplained by the large number of patients under18 months of age. All patients with associatedlesions had valvular rather than subvalvularstenosis. Endocardial fibroelastosis of the leftatrium or ventricle was present in 11 patients. Onepatient had aortic stenosis, patent ductus arteriosusand coarctation of the aorta; others have notedthis triad with both valvular and subvalvular aorticstenosis.'82' Combined aortic and pulmonary valvestenosis"' 24,28 occurred in four of our patients,two of whom had the rubella syndrome.

    RELATIONSHIP OF THE CLINICAL DATA TOSrrE AND SEVERITY OF GEsmucrIoN

    Retrograde aortic and/or trans-septal left-heartcatheterization was carried out in 83 patients in-

  • Canad. Med. Ass. J.Sept. 19, 1964, vol. 91 PEcIUAM . OTHERS: CONGENITAL AORTIC Sn.iosis .641

    cluding 64 with valvular stenosis and 19 withdiscrete subvalvular stenosis. The patients subjectedto left-heart catheterization were divided into twogroups according to the site of the obstruction, andthe clinical findings were assessed in relation tothe systolic pressure gradient between the leftventricle and aorta.

    (a) Valvular Aortic StenosisThe 64 patients with valvular aortic stenosis

    ranged in age from one to 30 years. The sex ratiowas 44 males to 20 females (2.2:1). The relation-ship of the clinical findings to the systolic pressuregradient at cardiac catheterization is shown inTable III.

    In general, symptoms were common m patientswith gradients of 50 mm. Hg or greater. However,it should be noted that 12 patients with gradientsover 50 mm. Hg were asymptomatic. Exertionalchest pain did not occur in those with gradientsunder 50 mm. Hg. Analysis by age groups re-vealed that only two of 13 patients under 10 yearsof age had symptoms although six had gradientsover 50 mm. Hg. In older age groups symptomswere more common, especially with gradients over50 mm. Hg.On physical examination a systolic thrill in the

    suprasternal notch and an early systolic ejectionsound were present in 39 of 40 patients withgradients 50 mm. Hg or greater. (The record ofthe remaining patient was incomplete.) The leftventricular impulse was increased in 85% of thisgroup. In the 24 patients with gradients less than50 mm. Hg a palpable thrill and an early systolicejection sound were less common findings: the 12patients in whom a thrill was felt had gradientsbetween 35 and 49 mm. Hg whereas the 12 patientswithout a thrill had gradients less than 35 mm. Hg.Of the 40 patients with gradients of 50 mm. Hg

    or greater, the electrocardiogram indicated leftventricular hypertrophy in 39 and no abnormalityin one; 24 of the patients with evidence of leftventricular hypertrophy had, in addition, the"strain.. pattern of T-wave inversion in left pre-cordial leads. It should be noted that 11 patientswith gradients less than 50 mm. Hg had leftventricular hypertrophy by voltage criteria. Onepatient in congestive failure who had a gradientof 34 mm. Hg showed left ventricular strain.The cardiothoracic ratio and the presence of

    poststenotic dilatation of the ascending aorta onthe chest roentgenogram did not correlate with thesystolic gradient. The results of surgery have beenreported elsewhere,'7 but of the 34 patients whocame to operation the aortic valve was bicuspidin 21 and tricuspid in 13. All 10 patients in whoman early diastolic murmur was heard prior to sur-gery were found at operation to have a bicuspidaortic valve.

    AoaTIc S.ssosss

    Valvular stenosie Subsainslar atenosie

    Gradient (mm.Hg) 15-49 50-99 1(K)-iSO Total 15-49 50-99 1(K)-iSO Total

    No. of patients 54 81 9 64 11 6 19

    Symptoms:No symptoms 19Dyspnea 3Angina ()Syncope 2Heart failure 1

    Physical findings:L.V. impulse 8Systolic thrill 12Systolic ejection

    sound 10Pulse pressure

    25 mm. Hgorlese 0

    Electrocardiogram:L.V.H. 11

    X-RayOTR >50% 9

    6194

    100

    2430

    30

    14

    31

    15

    63020

    9

    9

    9

    31254

    14

    41

    51

    49

    0222

    2

    2

    0

    46442

    8

    11

    0

    033

    0

    5

    6

    0

    411973

    15

    19

    0

    6 20 0 5 4 9

    8 50 2 7 5 14

    2 26 4 3 8

    (b) Subvalvukzr Aortic StenosisThe 19 patients with subvalvular aortic stenosis

    ranged in age from five to 30 years. The sex ratiowas 14 males to five females (2.8:1). Table IIIshows the relationship of the clinical data to thesystolic pressure gradient.

    It may be noted that of the two patients withgradients less than 50 mm. Hg, one was in con-gestive heart failure, and pressure recordings at left-heart catheterization were unsatisfactory in theother. In both patients the systolic murmur wasassociated with a thrill. The left ventricular impulsewas increased and the electrocardiogram showedleft ventricular hypertrophy. As in the valvulargroup, symptoms did not occur until 10 years ofage or older. Exertional chest pain was commonerthan in the valvular group and congestive heartfailure occurred in three of the 19 patients.On physical examination, a systolic thrill was

    present in the suprasternal notch of all patientsand the left ventricular impulse was accentuatedin 15. An early systolic ejection sound was not de-tected in any patient with subvalvular stenosis.The pulse pressure was 25 mm. Hg or less in ninepatients, all of whom had gradients over 50 mm.Hg. An early diastolic murmur was heard in fivepatients.The electrocardiogr