HMC records success in narrowing aorta treatment
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA HAMAD General Hospital, a member of the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), has successfully conducted the very first procedure performed in the country using balloon-expandable stents for dilation of a narrowed descending aorta in a 14-yearold patient. The success of the operation means that the procedure can now be performed with the same success and efficiency as in major cardiac centres in the United States and Europe.
The aorta is the largest artery of the heart that supplies the body with oxygenated blood, including vital organs such as the kidneys, liver and intestines.
Narrowing or coarctation of the aorta is a congenital condition (meaning it is present at birth) that usually manifests with heart and kidney failure within the first few weeks of life, or with high blood pressure later in life.
“The condition represents about eight percent of congenital heart diseases, and affects more males than females, with a ratio of 2:1,” said Dr Magdi Tofeig, senior consultant of paediatric cardiology and congenital intervention at HMC.
The young patient who underwent the operation was suffering from hypertension, with possibility of coarctation, and had been referred to the paediatric cardiology clinic by Dr Abdullah al Kaabi, senior consultant of paediatric nephrology.
“Upon examination, the patient was found to have about 70 percent narrowing of his aorta. We decided the best treatment option for him was to use a balloon-expandable stent to treat the narrowing in his aorta,” said Dr Tofeig. The procedure was performed at the children’s cardiac catheterisation laboratory.
Dr Tofeig said that the balloon- expandable stent treatment is a new modality that has been proven safe and effective in the US, Europe and Australia. He said that the ability to use balloonexpandable stents for treatment of the narrowed aorta is a real revolution at Hamad General Hospital, where patients were previously treated with surgery or balloon dilatation of the narrowed aorta, a method that is generally less effective and carries the possibility of more complications.
The senior consultant explained that the treatment usually involves general anesthesia, monitoring of the electrical activity and blood pressure of the patient, and administration of intravenous fluids. “We succeeded in treating the narrowing using a covered stent about 39 millimeters long. The narrowing has been completely treated, and the blood can now flow normally to the lower part of the body without any obstruction.” The patient was discharged from the hospital the day after the procedure, with his blood pressure back to normal without the need for further medication. “He is now active and enjoys a perfectly normal life. In his last outpatient review, ultrasound of his heart showed the stent was in good position and there was no significant residual narrowing in his aorta.”