The aorta is the main artery carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body. Aortic coarctation is the narrowing of the aorta which slows or blocks the blood flow. It is often associated with other heart and vascular conditions, like abnormal heart valves or blood vessel outpouching. These conditions carry a risk of additional future problems.
Aortic coarctation is a congenital heart defect, which means it is present at birth. It occurs because of a problem with the development of the aorta while the fetus in the uterus.
Men are at increased risk. Other factors that increase the chances of aortic coarctation:
- Turner syndrome
- Family history of aortic coarctation
Aortic coarctation may or may not have symptoms. When present, symptoms may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Images tests may include:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
The narrow section of the aorta can be removed surgically. The 2 healthy ends can be reconnected.
A tiny catheter tube is inserted into a blood vessel in the leg and threaded up to the aorta. There, a balloon is inflated to expand the narrow area. A stent may be placed to keep the area open.
There are no current guidelines to prevent aortic coarctation because it is a congenital defect.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
- Review Date: 03/2018 -
- Update Date: 03/18/2013 -