We noted a dicrotic pulse in several patients following a Ross operation. Although the etiology of this unique arterial waveform is not completely understood, it has been reported as a sign of low cardiac output and a poor prognosis. We reviewed preoperative echocardiograms and postoperative radial arterial pressure tracings in 33 patients who underwent a Ross procedure between 2000 and 2004. We found a dicrotic pulse to occur commonly (20/33; 61%) following a Ross operation. Moderate to severe preoperative aortic insufficiency was present in 19/20 patients (95%) in whom a dicrotic pulse was noted and in only 3/13 (23%) who did not exhibit a postoperative dicrotic pulse (p < 0.001). A dicrotic pulse was not associated with an increased use of vasoactive infusions or longer hospitalization following the Ross operation. The dicrotic pulse should be recognized as a common postoperative finding in Ross patients that does not herald a delayed postoperative convalescence. The mechanism for a dicrotic pulse in these patients is speculative but may result from changes in vascular compliance secondary to chronic aortic insufficiency.
- Aortic insufficiency
- Dicrotic pulse
- Ross operation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine