Coarctation of the Aorta is a congenitial condition that causes a narrowing of the aorta of the Heart at or near the “ductus arteriosus“.
A primary symptom or result is an increase in blood pressure also called Hypertension
***Any young adults having an elevated blood pressure should be checked for Coarctation of the Aorta.
Three main Types
1.) Preductal Coarctation
- Narrowing occurs before the ductus arteriosus
- This narrowing largely affects the blood flow
- Severe coarctation can be life-threatening
- This type is seen in 5% of infants with Turner Syndrome
2.) Ductal Coarctation
- Narrowing occurs at the insertion of the ductus arteriosus
3.) Postductal Coarctation
- Narrowing is distal to the ductus arteriosus
- Can affect the lower body
- Most common type in adults
- There can be notching of the ribs, hypertension, and weak pulses.
- Cardiac failure in infancy is relatively common
- Strong pulsations in neck
- Increased pressure in arms but legs are normal or low
- Cardiac murmurs
ECG is helpful in some cases.
X-ray can be useful
Echocardiography/Doppler is essential to confirm the diagnosis
MRI and CT are often helpful for involvement
- Balloon Angioplasty
- Percutaneous stenting