Aortic coarctation

Below you will find more information about Aortic coarctation from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Aortic coarctation it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Aortic coarctation and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Aortic coarctation comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Aortic coarctation is a condition characterized by narrowing of the aorta in an area where the "ductus arteriosus" inserts. There are three types of aortic coarctation - preductal, ductal and postductal coarctation. In preductal coarctation, the narrowing is near the ductus arteriosus. Severe cases of preductal coarctation, blood flow to the lower body to the narrowing could become dependent on a patent ductus arteriosus. When this happens, its closure can become life threatening and lead to hypoplastic development of the aorta. In ductal coarctation, the narrowing occurs along the insertion of the "ductus arteriosus". This type of condition usually develops when the ductus arteriosus closes. In postductal coarctation, the narrowing is far from the instertion of the ductus arteriosus. Newborns with this type of aortic coarctation may become critically sick after birth. Ductal aortic coarctation is more common in adults and is associated with hypertension, weak pulses in lower extremeties and notching of the ribs.

Diagnosis

Aortic coarctation can be diagnosed accurately through magnetic resonance angiography. However, if this condition occurs in adolescents and adults, echocardiograms may not be conclusive. Since aortic coarctation in adults usually reach the lower body, these could be seen by angiography or MR.

Symptoms and Signs

Patients with aortic coarctation develop arterial hypertension in their right arm with normal (or low) blood pressure in their lower extremities. Most patients with severe aortic coarctation have poor peripheral pulses in their "Femoral" arteries. If the aortic coarctation is located before the left "subclavian artery", patients will experience synchronous radial pulses in their left and right arms. There would be a radial-femoral delay between their right arms. However, the left arm would have no delay; instead, radial-femoral palpitations would occur. If the aortic coarctation is located after the left "subclavian artery", patients will experience synchronous radial pulses. In addition, radial-femoral delay will also be present in either arm.

Therapy

If aortic coarctation is asymptomatic, but shows arterial hypertension, it could still require surgical resection of the narrow segment. However, some cases may require angioplasty to dilate the narrowed arteries. Aortic coarctation left untreated may lead to permanent arterial hypertension because of irreversible changes in the patients' organs.

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