AORTIC ARCH INTERRUPTION & TREATMENT
Definition: What is "Aortic arch interruption"?
Aortic arch interruption, also commonly known as "interrupted aortic arch", is an extremely rare heart defect wherein the aorta did not complete its development - did not form a complete tube or the aorta has a hole in the muscle wall. As such, patients with an aortic arch interruption have a gap between the descending & ascending thoracic aorta. Majority of patients with this condition have other cardiac-related anomalies, such as bicuspid aortic valve, truncus arteriosus, aortic stenosis or ventricular septal defects. As such, treatment of aortic arch interruption would depend on the presence of any of the associated defects.
Treatment: How to Treat "Aortic arch interruption"?
Aortic arch interruption can be diagnosed with an echocardiogram. Treatment of this condition consists of open-heart surgery immediately after birth. Before surgery, administration of prostaglandin can be used to keep the "ductuc arteriosus" open, allowing normal blood flow to the lower body. After surgery, no unusual lifestyle or restriction will apply. However, since aortic arch interruption usually occur along with cardiac defects, long-term treatment & follow-ups will be needed. Re-operation is necessary only when new or recurring problems after surgery occur. In addition, patient with aortic arch interruption may need lifelong treatment against infective endocarditis - a condition characterized by an inflamed interior lining or valve of the heart.
Infants with aortic arch interruption usually get sick immediately after birth. If no treatment is made to keep the ducus arteriosus open, oxygen will not make its way to tissues of the lower body, resulting in shock.