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Coarctation of the aorta : Causes - Symptoms- Diagnosis -Treatment

 What is Coarctation of the aorta?

Coarctation of the arterial blood vessel happens in regarding one in ten,000 births and accounts for five to ten % of all innate heart defects. it's less common, however it's additionally common for the identification to be created in adulthood.

Coarctation of the arterial blood vessel may be a congenital abnormality during which a neighborhood of the arterial blood vessel is narrower than usual. If the narrowing is severe enough and if it's not diagnosed, the baby could have serious issues and will want surgery or different procedures shortly after birth.

What is Coarctation of the aorta?
Coarctation of the aorta

For this reason, coarctation of the arterial blood vessel is usually thought-about a vital innate heart defect. The defect happens once a baby’s arterial blood vessel doesn't type properly because the baby grows and develops throughout physiological state. The narrowing of the arterial blood vessel sometimes happens within the a part of the vas simply once the arteries branch off to require blood to the pinnacle and arms, close to the patent blood vessel, though typically the narrowing happens before or once the blood vessel. In some babies with coarctation, it's thought that some tissue from the wall of the blood vessel blends into the tissue of the arterial blood vessel. Once the tissue tightens and permits the blood vessel to shut ordinarily once birth, this further tissue may additionally tighten and slim the arterial blood vessel.

  1. Circulatory system

    1. Heart

    2. Arteries

    3. Veins

    4. Capillaries

Medical terms

  • Coarctation of the aorta is a congenital heart defect that affects the aorta. The aorta is the main artery that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the body. In individuals with coarctation of the aorta, the part of the aorta nearest to the heart is narrower than usual, creating a constriction that impedes the flow of blood. This can cause high blood pressure in the upper body, or hypertension.

  • The artery is the largest artery in your body. It moves oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the remainder of your body. Narrowing of the arteria (aortic coarctation, pronounced ko-ahrk-TAY-shun) forces your heart to pump more durably to maneuver blood through the arteria.

  • Coarctation of the arteries is usually a gift at birth (congenital). Though the condition will have an effect on any part of the arteries, the defect is most frequently set close to a vessel known as the blood vessel. Symptoms will vary from delicate to severe. it'd not be detected till adulthood, counting on what quantity the arteria is narrowed.

  • Coarctation of the arteria usually happens beside alternative heart defects. Although treatment is sometimes triple-crown, the condition needs careful long follow-up.

  • is a narrowing of the aorta just from the heart The word “Coarctation” is derived from two Latin words meaning "to squeeze" and "heart".

  • Coarctation of the aorta is a narrowing in the large blood vessel that carries blood from your heart to other parts of your body This condition occurs when the muscular artery that supplies blood to your body becomes too small or looks like it has been pinched off with two fingers causing an obstruction Coarctation of the aorta is also referred to as true coarctation and proximal sub-arch type of coarctation These names refer to specific locations along the aorta where the constriction might occur Coarctation of the aorta is one cause of.

Symptoms Coarctation of the aorta

Symptoms rely on the severity of the narrowing. Severe cases usually square measure diagnosed at birth or at intervals the primary months of life. In delicate cases, the individual could also be symptom–free into adulthood. Symptoms in AN adult could embrace exercise intolerance, headache, shortness of breath, chest pain, nose bleeds, timorousness or leg pain once exercise, or hard-to-control high force per unit area (hypertension).

Coarctation of the artery symptoms rely on the severity of the condition. most of the people haven't got symptoms. delicate coarctation might not be diagnosed till adulthood.

Babies with severe coarctation of the artery could begin having symptoms shortly after birth. These include:

  • Pale skin

  • Irritability

  • Heavy sweating

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Difficulty feeding

People with coarctation of the aorta may also have signs or symptoms of other heart defects, which often occur with the condition.

Signs or symptoms of coarctation of the aorta after infancy commonly include:

  • High blood pressure

  • Headaches

  • Muscle weakness

  • Leg cramps or cold feet

  • Nosebleeds

  • Chest pain

When to see a doctor

Seek medical help if you or your child has the following signs or symptoms:

  • Severe chest pain

  • Fainting

  • Sudden shortness of breath

  • Unexplained high blood pressure

While having these signs or symptoms doesn't always mean that you have a serious health condition, it's best to get checked out quickly. Early detection and treatment might help save your life.

Causes Coarctation of the aorta

The causes of heart defects, together with coarctation of the arteries, among most babies are unknown. Some babies have heart defects attributable to changes in their genes or chromosomes. Heart defects, like coarctation of the arteries, are thought to be caused by a mix of genes and different risk factors, like things the mother comes in touch with within the atmosphere, what the mother fare or drinks, or medicines the mother uses.

Doctors are not bound to what causes coarctation of the arteries. The condition is mostly a gift at birth (congenital). innate heart defects area unit the foremost common of all birth defects.

Rarely, coarctation of the arteries develops later in life. Conditions or events which will slim the arteria and cause this condition include:

  • Traumatic injury

  • Severe hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)

  • Inflamed arteries (Takayasu's arteritis)

Coarctation of the arteries sometimes happens on the far side of the blood vessels that branch off to your higher body and before the blood vessels that result in your lower body. This may typically result in high pressure level in your arms however low pressure level in your legs and ankles.

With coarctation of the arteria, the lower left heart chamber (left ventricle) of your heart works more durable to pump blood through the narrowed arteria, and pressure level will increase within the heart ventricle. This could cause the wall of the heart ventricle to thicken (hypertrophy).

Risk factors Coarctation of the aorta

Coarctation of the arteries usually happens together with alternative non heritable heart defects. bound heart conditions area unit usually related to coarctation, including:

  • Bicuspid aortic valve. The semilunar valve separates the lower left chamber (left ventricle) of the center from the artery. A bicuspid semilunar valve has 2 flaps (cusps) rather than the standard 3. Many folks with coarctation of the artery have a bicuspid semilunar valve. 

  • Subaortic stenosis. Sub-aortic stricture happens once there's a narrowing of the realm below the semilunar valve that obstructs blood from the heart ventricle to the arterial blood vessel. This narrowing could also be within the style of a fibrous membrane. 

  • Patent ductus arteriosus. The blood vessel could be a vessel that connects a baby's left artery to the artery. It permits blood to bypass the lungs whereas the baby is growing within the uterus. Shortly after birth, the blood vessel sometimes closes. If it remains open, it's referred to as a patent blood vessel. 

  • Holes in the wall between the left and right sides of the heart. Some people are born with a hole in the wall (septum) between the upper heart chambers (atrial septal defect) or the lower heart chambers (ventricular septal defect).This causes oxygen-rich blood from the left side of the heart to mix with oxygen-poor blood in the right side of the heart.

  • Congenital mitral valve stenosis. The bicuspid valve is between the higher and lower left heart chambers. It lets blood flow through the left facet of your heart. In bicuspid valve pathology, the valve is narrowed. As a result, the movement of blood between the higher and lower left heart chambers is reduced, increasing the pressure within the higher left chamber (atrium). The oxygen-rich blood from the lungs returns to the guts through veins that attach to the higher left chamber. inflated pressure within the atrium cordis might end in symptoms of respiratory organ congestion. These symptoms embody shortness of breath, issue respiratory throughout exercise and shortness of breath once lying flat.
    Coarctation of the arteries is more common in males than in females, moreover as in those that have bound genetic conditions, like Turner syndrome. 

Complications Coarctation of the aorta

Without treatment, coarctation of the arteries often results in complications. In babies, it should cause cardiomyopathy or death.

High pressure is the most typical semi permanent complication of coarctation of the arteries. pressure typically drops once the arterial blood vessel coarctation has been repaired, however should still be beyond traditional.

Other complications of coarctation of the arteria could include:

  • A weakened or bulging artery in the brain (brain aneurysm) or bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage)

  • Aortic rupture or tear (dissection)

  • Enlargement in a section of the wall of the aorta (aneurysm)

  • Heart failure

  • Premature coronary artery disease — narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the heart

  • Stroke

If the coarctation of the artery is severe, your heart won't be able to pump enough blood to your alternative organs. This will cause heart harm and should result in renal disorder or alternative organ failure.

Complications also are doable once treatment for coarctation of the artery. They include:

  • Aorta re-narrowing (re-coarctation, possibly years after treatment)

  • High blood pressure

  • Aortic aneurysm or rupture

You will need lifelong follow-up for coarctation of the aorta, and you may require additional treatments.

Prevention Coarctation of the aorta

Coarctation of the arteries cannot be prevented, as a result of it has always been a gift at birth. However, if you or your kid incorporates a condition that will increase the danger of arterial coarctation, like Turner syndrome, bicuspid semilunar valve or another heart defect, or a case history of an innate heart condition, early detection will facilitate. Discuss the danger of arteria coarctation together with your doctor.

Is coarctation of the aorta an emergency?

Coarctation of aorta is not an emergency and can be taken care of later on after consulting with the doctor It should be noted that most kids born with this defect will develop severe heart defects including a hole in the heart (otherwise known as cardiac septal defects) apart from this one This combination of problems may lead to complete failure in breathing if not attended to immediately.

How long can you live with coarctation of the aorta?

Coarctation of the aorta is a narrowing of the section of the main artery that carries blood away from your heart The right ventricle which pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body works harder in people with coarctation of the aorta because it has to pump harder to move blood through this narrowed section This type of obstruction can cause chest pain if it severely limits blood flow and can lead to complications including high blood pressure and abnormal growth patterns People with severe cases usually need surgery conducted by experts in cardiovascular disease If you're interested in boosting your athletic performance without worrying about.

How many babies are born with coarctation of the aorta?

Coarctation of the aorta is a condition in which the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to other parts of the body including the arms and legs gets pinched at some point The narrowing or pinching can occur anywhere along this blood vessel but it's most commonly found in the part of the aorta closest to your heart (the area called the abdominal aorta) Half of all people with coarctation have only one occurrence of it These individuals may experience only mild problems However as many as 10 percent will go on to develop serious issues such as high blood.

What are common symptoms of coarctation of the aorta in children?

A coarctation of the aorta is an abnormal narrowing or constriction in the main artery of the body The condition typically occurs near where the aorta branches off from the left ventricle muscle of the heart Common symptoms include low blood pressure blackouts and fainting spells In addition individuals may have chest pain upon exertion or when laying on their back for too long as well as breathing difficulties during exercise Other potential signs that warrant medical attention include cyanosis (bluish tinge to skin) fatigue and growth retardation.

What happens if the aorta is clamped for too long?

Aortic clamping and unclamping is a technique used in open heart surgery where the aorta is clamped to stop blood from flowing into the body then slowly unclamped to allow blood flow when needed The aorta is the largest artery of the human body Clamping it closes off blood flow and allows surgeons to operate on other nearby arteries before slowly opening it again and restoring normal circulation If the clamp remains closed too long or is opened too quickly there is serious risk of permanent damage such as cardiac arrest.

Diagnosis Coarctation of the aorta

Aortic coarctation sometimes happens between website|the location|the positioning} wherever the blood vessels branch off the arterial blood vessel to the higher body and therefore the site wherever the blood vessels branch to the lower body. Due to this positioning, artery coarctation causes high pressure level within the arms and higher body and low pressure level within the lower body and legs. This pressure level distinction is one in every of the foremost distinctive diagnostic factors for coarctation of the arterial blood vessel. Different distinctive clinical options embrace variations within the pulse at the groin and therefore the neck and a particularly harsh cardiac murmur that may be detected with a medical instrument placed over the patient’s back.

The age at which coarctation of the arterial blood vessel is diagnosed depends on the severity of the condition. If the artery coarctation is severe, it is always diagnosed throughout infancy. Coarctation of the arterial blood vessel is sometimes diagnosed on the ion of the fetus.

Adults and older kids WHO are diagnosed with coarctation of the arterial blood vessel might have milder cases and not have symptoms. they'll usually seem healthy till a doctor detects:

  • High blood pressure in the arms

  • A blood pressure difference between the arms and legs, with higher blood pressure in the arms and lower blood pressure in the legs

  • A weak or delayed pulse in the legs

  • A heart murmur — an abnormal whooshing sound caused by faster blood flow through the narrowed area


Tests to confirm a diagnosis of coarctation of the aorta may include:

  • Echocardiogram. Echocardiograms use sound waves to make moving pictures of your heart that may be viewed on a video screen. This take a look at will typically show your doctor the situation and severity of the artery coarctation. It may also reveal different heart defects, like a bicuspid semilunar valve. Doctors typically use echocardiograms to diagnose coarctation of the artery and confirm best treatment choices for you. 

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). An ECG records the electrical signals in your heart. Throughout this take a look at sticky patches (electrodes) area units hooked up to your chest and limbs. The patches have wires that hook up with a monitor. They record the electrical signals that create your heartbeat. A laptop records the knowledge and displays it as waves on a monitor or on paper.
    If the coarctation of the arteria is severe, the ECG might show thickening of the walls of the lower heart chambers (ventricular hypertrophy). 

  • Chest X-ray. A chest X-ray creates images of your heart and lungs. A chest X-ray might show a narrowing in the aorta at the site of the coarctation or an enlarged section of the aorta or both.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A tomography uses a strong flux and radio waves to supply elaborate pictures of your heart and blood vessels. This check will show the situation and severity of the coarctation of the artery, harm to alternative blood vessels, and the other heart defects. Your doctor may additionally use tomography results to guide treatment. 

  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan uses a series of X-rays to create detailed cross-sectional images of your body.

  • CT angiogram. A CT X-ray picture uses a dye and special X-rays to point out the within of your coronary arteries. It reveals blood flow in your veins and arteries. The check will show the situation and severity of the coarctation of the arteries and verify whether or not it affects different blood vessels in your body. A CT X-ray picture may be accustomed to observe different heart defects or facilitate guide treatment choices. 

  • Cardiac catheterization. During this procedure, your doctor inserts a protracted, skinny tube (catheter) into an associate degree artery or vein in your groin, arm or neck and threads it to your heart for X-ray imaging. Sometimes, dye is injected through the tube to assist your heart structures that show up additionally clearly on the X-ray pictures.
    Cardiac catheterization will facilitate confirmation of the severity of the arterial blood vessel coarctation. Your doctor could use it to assist set up surgery or different treatment, if you wish it. tube procedures may be accustomed to perform sure treatments for coarctation of the arterial blood vessel. 

Treatment Coarctation of the aorta

Twenty years past, surgery was the sole treatment accessible for arterial blood vessel coarctation. Surgery continues to be thought of as the gold commonplace, however these days treatment choices for adults with this condition additionally embrace balloon surgical process, stenting, tube affixation, or hybrid repair (a combination of open surgery and tube grafts). The selection of treatment relies on the individual's overall health, the dimensions and severity of the coarctation, associated illness} or valve disease, and its precise location.

An individual United Nations agency is diagnosed with coarctation of the artery ought to be beneath the care of AN intimate with non heritable medical specialist at a serious middle. An internal organ operating surgeon intimate within the procedures accustomed to treating this condition is best able to confirm the best temporal arrangement and selection of treatment.

Treatment for coarctation of the artery depends on your age at the time of designation and also the severity of your condition. alternative heart defects could be repaired at a similar time as arterial blood vessel coarctation.

A doctor trained in non heritable heart conditions can measure you and confirm the foremost applicable treatment for your condition.


Medication is not wont to repair coarctation of the arterial blood vessel. However, your doctor could suggest it to manage vital signs before and once tubing placement or surgery. Although repairing aortic coarctation improves vital signs, many of us still have to take vital sign medication once a booming surgery or stenting.

Babies with severe coarctation of the arterial blood vessel usually are given a medicine that keeps the blood vessel open. This enables blood to flow round the constriction till the coarctation is repaired.

Surgery or other procedures

Their square measures many surgeries to repair arterial blood vessel coarctation. Your doctor will check with you which of them is possible to with success repair your or your child's condition. the choices include:

  • Resection with end-to-end anastomosis. This technique involves removing the narrowed section of the arterial blood vessel (resection) followed by connecting the 2 healthy sections of the arterial blood vessel along (anastomosis). 

  • Subclavian flap aortoplasty. A part of the blood vessel that delivers blood to your left arm (left subclavian artery) might be used to expand the narrowed area of the aorta.

  • Bypass graft repair.This technique involves bypassing the narrowed area by inserting a tube called a graft between the portions of the aorta.

  • Patch aortoplasty. Your doctor would possibly treat your coarctation by cutting across the narrowed space of the artery and so attaching a patch of artificial material to widen the vessel. Patch aortoplasty is helpful if the coarctation involves an extended phase of the artery. 

Balloon angioplasty and stenting

This procedure is also used as a primary treatment for arterial blood vessel coarctation rather than surgery, or it should be done if narrowing happens once more once coarctation surgery.

During balloon operation, your doctor inserts a skinny, versatile tube (catheter) into the Associate in Nursing artery in your groin and threads it through your blood vessels to your heart victimization X-ray imaging.

Your doctor places Associate in Nursing uninflated balloon through the gap of the narrowed artery. Once the balloon is inflated, the artery widens and blood flows a lot. Sometimes, a mesh-covered hollow tube (stent) is placed within the artery to keep the narrowed part of the artery open. 

Lifestyle and home remedies

Although coarctation of the arterial blood vessel could also be repaired, regular doctor's check ups are required for the remainder of your or your child's life to observe for complications.

Your doctor also will check your pressure and treat it pro re nata.

Here ar many tips for managing your condition:

  • Get regular exercise. Regular exercise helps lower force per unit area. consult with your doctor concerning whether or not you would like to limit sure physical activities, like anaerobic exercise, which may quickly raise your force per unit area.
    Your doctor could value you and conduct exercise tests before deciding if you ought to participate in competitive sports or elevate weights. 

  • Consider pregnancy carefully. Women with coarctation of the arteria, even when repair, might have a better risk of arterial rupture, arteria dissection or alternative complications throughout gestation and delivery. If you're thinking of getting a baby, seek advice from your doctor to see a way to safely do thus. If you have had arteria coarctation repair and are considering turning into pregnant, careful management of your pressure is very important to assist keep you and your baby healthy. 

  • Prevent endocarditis. Endocarditis is an inflammation of the inner lining of the guts or of its structures, caused by a microorganism infection. You typically do not have to be compelled to take antibiotics before sure dental procedures to stop carditis. However, if you've had carditis within the past or had valve replacement surgery, then your doctor could suggest antibiotics. 

Preparing for your appointment

If you or your kid develops signs and symptoms of coarctation of the arteria, decide your doctor. once AN initial test, you or your kid is also brought up by a doctor trained within the designation and treatment of heart conditions (cardiologist).

Here's some info to assist you in hardening your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Write down any signs and symptoms you or your child has had, and for how long.

  • Write down key medical information, including any other health conditions and the names of any medications you or your child is taking.

  • Find a family member or friend who can come with you to the appointment, if attainable. somebody UN agency accompanies you'll facilitate bear in mind what the doctor says. 

  • Write down the questions you want to be sure to ask your doctor.

Questions to ask the doctor at the initial appointment include:

  • What is likely causing these symptoms?

  • Are there any other possible causes for these symptoms?

  • What tests are needed?

  • Should a specialist be consulted?

Questions to ask if you're referred to a cardiologist include:

  • Do I or does my child have coarctation of the aorta?

  • How severe is the defect?

  • Did tests reveal any other heart defects?

  • What is the risk of complications from coarctation of the aorta?

  • What treatment approach do you recommend?

  • If you're recommending medications, what are the possible side effects?

  • If you're recommending surgery, what type of procedure is most likely to be effective? Why?

  • What will be involved in recovery and rehabilitation after surgery?

  • How often should my child or I be seen for follow-up exams and tests?

  • What signs and symptoms should I watch for at home?

  • What is the long-term outlook for this condition?

  • Do you recommend any dietary or activity restrictions?

  • Do you recommend taking antibiotics before dental appointments or other medical procedures?

  • Is it safe for a woman with coarctation of the aorta to become pregnant?

  • What is the risk that my or my child's future children will have this defect?

  • Should I meet with a genetic counselor?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time if you don't understand something.

What to expect from your doctor

A doctor who sees you or your child for possible coarctation of the aorta might ask a number of questions.

If you're the person affected:

  • What are your symptoms?

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?

  • Have your symptoms gotten worse over time?

  • Do your symptoms include shortness of breath?

  • Do your symptoms include headaches or dizziness?

  • Do your symptoms include chest pain?

  • Do your symptoms include cold feet?

  • Have you had any weakness or leg cramps with exercise?

  • Have you ever fainted?

  • Do you have frequent nosebleeds?

  • Does exercise or physical exertion make your symptoms worse?

  • Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?

  • What medications are you currently taking, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs, as well as vitamins and supplements?

  • Are you aware of any history of heart problems in your family?

  • Do you or did you smoke? How much?

  • Do you have any children?

  • Are you planning to become pregnant in the future?

If your baby or child is affected:

  • What are your child's symptoms?

  • When did you first notice these symptoms?

  • Is your child gaining weight at a normal rate?

  • Does your child have any breathing problems, such as running out of breath easily or breathing rapidly?

  • Does your child tire easily?

  • Does your child sweat heavily?

  • Does your child seem irritable?

  • Do your child's symptoms include chest pain?

  • Do your child's symptoms include cold feet?

  • Has your child been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?

  • Is your child currently taking any medications?

  • Are you aware of any history of heart problems in your child's family?

  • Is there a history of congenital heart defects in your child's family?

General summary

  1. Coarctation of the aorta is an aortic narrowing that restricts blood flow to the heart and other upper body areas. It's a rare disorder that affects only about one in 3,000 people. Treatment usually involves surgery for newborns but adults may be able to manage their condition with medication.

  2. Coarctation of the aorta is a congenital heart defect that can occur in children. It is caused when there is a narrowing of the aorta, the major artery that carries oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the rest of the body. The narrowing of the aorta restricts the flow of blood to the rest of the body and can lead to many complications. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in order to prevent any further damage to the heart.

  3. Coarctation of the aorta is a congenital heart defect which causes a narrowing of the aorta, the largest artery in the body. This narrowing limits the amount of oxygen rich blood that can reach the lower half of the body, including the legs. As a result, people with coarctation of the aorta often experience fatigue, cramping, or pain in their legs due to insufficient blood flow. Because of this, it is often diagnosed in infancy or childhood, with treatment typically involving corrective surgery to widen the narrowed section of the aorta.

Coarctation of the aorta : Causes - Symptoms- Diagnosis -Treatment

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