Pediatric Coarctation of the Aorta
The aorta is the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. A coarctation means that a section of the aorta is narrow. The heart must work harder to pump blood thru a narrow aorta.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms can vary based on how narrow the aorta is. Infants or children may have
- A murmur.
- Problems eating or gaining weight.
- Decreased pulses in the lower body.
- High blood pressure in the arms.
- More than one of these symptoms.
Blood pressures will be checked in your child’s arms and legs to compare the blood flow before and after the narrow place. An echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) will be done to look at the site of narrowing.
Treatment is based on the how narrow the section is. Most cases require surgery. The timing of the surgery will depend upon the amount of narrowing. Some children require medicines to help control their blood pressures until they have surgery. Some children may need to take the medicines after surgery as their bodies adjust.
Who Do I Call With Questions?
Your child’s doctor or nurse or our clinic staff can answer any questions.
Pediatric Cardiology (608) 263-6420.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/17/2012
Copyright © 05/17/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6855
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