||Background. Coarctation of the aorta (CoA) is one of the most common congenital heart
defects. Due to improved surgical techniques, most patients live into adulthood. However,
late complications including hypertension, recoarctation and arrhythmias are common. The
autonomic nervous system (ANS) might play a role in the pathology. The aim of this study
was to evaluate cardiac ANS activity and cardiac function in children after CoA repair and
investigate the relationship between the two.
Methods. 31 children after CoA repair and 62 healthy controls aged between 8 and 18 years
old participated in the study. By the use of ambulatory impedance cardiography, cardiac ANS
activity and cardiac output were measured for 24h. Cardiac function was measured by the
use of transthoracic echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.
Results. No group differences were found in ambulatory cardiac ANS. However ambulatory
cardiac output and left ventricular function were significantly decreased in patients compared
Conclusions. Left ventricular function and ambulatory cardiac output are impaired in
patients after CoA repair, despite unchanged cardiac ANS activity in this group. These
results underscore the importance of clinical follow up, even in patients without residual