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A 31-year-old member asked:

what are some of the symptoms of coarctation of the aorta?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Freeman
Cardiology 18 years experience
Unequal BP: With a coarct or "pinching" of the aorta, you might have high blood pressure in the top of your body and low pressure in the lower part of your body. In most cases it is mild and incidentally found. Coarct is also associated with other congenital abnormalities and a cardiologist should be consulted.
Dr. Bennett Werner
Cardiology 44 years experience
None: There are no symptoms unless you have stroke. Coarct causes high blood pressure and aneurysm that can rupture.
Dr. Sarosh Batlivala
Pediatric Cardiology 16 years experience
Many: Coarctation symptoms depend on the severity. Many people have no symptoms. But symptoms may include leg/abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, headache (from hypertension), and possibly chest pain if severe. If concerned, please discuss this with your cardiologist.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

Is aortic dissection always a result of this syndrome, or are there other causes?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Luke Hermann
Emergency Medicine 25 years experience
No: Certain syndromes such as eds, marfan, and turner predispose to aortic dissection but many other causes exist. A bicuspid aortic valve and recent valve surgery increase the risk of aortic dissection. Aortic dissection also tends to run in families (even if those family members don't have Marfan or ehlers-danlos, or one of the other associated syndromes.
A 30-year-old member asked:

How do doctors diagnose coarctation of the aorta?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alon Gitig
Cardiology 20 years experience
Physical exam/scans: Coarctation, because it causes obstruction to blood flow through the aorta, will impede normal flow into the lower half of the body. Therefore, it can be detected by measuring accurate blood pressures in the legs and arms, and noting a severe drop-off in the legs. Ct or MRI scans are used to confirm the diagnosis and pinpoint the precise location of the coarctation.
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A 38-year-old member asked:

What test is used to diagnose coarctation of the aorta?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Milunski
Cardiology 37 years experience
Coarctation aorta: A specialized ct scan of the chest called a ct angiogram or a specialized MRI scan called in mr angiogram can be used to diagnose this condition.
A 40-year-old member asked:

When is coarctation of the aorta a problem?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alon Gitig
Cardiology 20 years experience
Usually if obstructs: Generally, coarctation is a problem if it causes a severe obstruction to blood flow through the aorta, with build-up of high pressures on the near-side, and fall-off on the distal side. This can result in severe hypertension in the arms (and proximal regions), and poor perfusion to organs beyond the coarctation. There is also a risk of aorta aneurysm or dissection which must be watched for.
A 42-year-old member asked:

What are the most common symptoms of coarctation of the aorta?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Miller
Dr. David Milleranswered
Family Medicine 10 years experience
Headache, Cold feet: Coarctation is a constriction somewhere along the path of the aorta. The symptoms largely depend on where the constriction is. You can have high pressure above and normal to low pressure below. These both cause symptoms like headache (from the high blood pressure) and exercise intolerance and pain in the legs along with cold feet (from the low pressure).

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Last updated Nov 7, 2013

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