What is it?

Aortic coarctation is a narrowing of the aorta, usually present in birth. The Part of the aorta that is typically affected is the part near the ductus arteriosus. Symptoms may not always be present, depending on the severity of narrowing. Sometimes it will be detected in adulthood. The abnormality usually occurs when there are heart defects.

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Signs & symptoms

Aortic coarctation symptoms in babies may include difficulty eating, breathing,
sweating, irritability and pale skin. For older people, symptoms may include high blood pressure, headache, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, cold feet, nosebleed and chest pain.


If the narrowing is severe,, aortic coarctation is usually diagnosed with a fetus sonogram. Later in life, suspicion of coarctation may arise due to difference in blood pressure between the arms and legs and a heart murmur. Then, diagnosis may be done with an echocardiogram, an ECG, and imaging tests of the chest like CT or MRI, cardiac catheterization may help determine the severity.


Treatment of aortic coarctation also depends on the severity of narrowing and the patient's symptoms. Medication to control blood pressure may be given before the coarctation repairment. For babies, medications to keep the ductus open may be used. In order to correct the coarctation, a few surgical procedures may be recommended, or a balloon angioplasty with stenting.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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