Coarctation of the Aorta
Alternate Names : Aortic Coarctation, CoA
What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?
Symptoms of coarctation of the aorta may be mild or severe.
In severe cases, symptoms usually begin shortly after birth. The main symptoms
are due to congestive heart failure,
as the heart cannot pump blood through the narrowed passage. Congestive heart failure
in children can cause:
a rapid heartbeat
swelling in the abdomen
swelling in the legs
trouble breathing or fast breathing
If symptoms do not occur until later in life, they may include:
high blood pressure
in the arms with low blood pressure
in the legs
symptoms of congestive heart failure,
including swelling of the legs and shortness of breath
an upper body that is stronger and better developed than the lower body
Most of these symptoms tend to get worse with exercise. They
are mostly due to the fact that blood can flow more easily to the upper body,
which is above the narrowed portion of the aorta. The lower body, which is below
the narrowed section of aorta, does not get as good a blood supply, so it does
not grow as well.