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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Coarctation of the Aorta: Symptoms & Signs
      Category : Health Centers > Heart Diseases

Coarctation of the Aorta

Alternate Names : Aortic Coarctation, CoA

Coarctation of the Aorta | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

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:

  • cold legs
  • headaches
  • high blood pressure in the arms with low blood pressure in the legs
  • leg cramps
  • nosebleeds
  • 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.

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    Coarctation of the Aorta: Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors


    Coarctation of the Aorta: Diagnosis & Tests

    Author: Eric Berlin, MD
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 07/24/01

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