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.

 

Symptoms 

  • Cardiac failure in infancy is relatively common
  • Hypertension
  • Strong pulsations in neck
  • Increased pressure in arms but legs are normal or low
  • Cardiac murmurs

 

Diagnosis

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

Treatment

  • Surgery
  • Balloon Angioplasty
  • Percutaneous stenting
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