Successful surgical correction of coarctation of the aorta was first accomplished in 1945.1,2 With improving operative techniques it is now generally agreed that the uncomplicated defect is best repaired during childhood. Most fatalities, however, occur during the first year, and attention more recently has been directed to surgical intervention in infancy. The purpose of this paper is to review 53 consecutive cases from a diagnostic and operative point of view.
Bonnet3 originally classified this condition as being of either the infantile or adult type. This classification corresponds in general to the anatomical separation of preductal and postductal coarctation depending upon whether the constriction of the aorta occurs proximal or distal to the mouth of the ductus arteriosus. Others4 have subdivided these groups further on the basis of whether or not the ductus is patent. Even at operation, however, anatomic classification is often difficult or even impossible, since