Coarctation of the Aorta
Alternate Names : Aortic Coarctation, CoA
The aorta is the main artery of the body and carries blood away
from the heart. Coarctation is an abnormal narrowing in the
aorta that is present at birth, causing congenital heart disease.
What is going on in the body?
It is not known why coarctation of the aorta occurs. The
narrowing in the aorta decreases the amount of blood that can flow through it.
The worse the narrowing, the worse the symptoms. Severe cases may lead to
early symptoms in infancy. Milder cases may not be discovered until adulthood.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
The cause of coarctation of the aorta is unknown. Those who
are at higher risk for this condition include:
males, who are more commonly affected than females
those with Turner syndrome,
a condition present at birth that affects only females and is caused by an
abnormal number of chromosomes
those with other heart defects present at birth, often called
congenital heart disease