Coarctation of the Aorta

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Coarctation of the aorta is a relatively uncommon congenital heart defect that affects the aorta, the body’s largest blood vessel. This condition is characterized by a narrowing or constriction in a specific segment of the aorta, which disrupts normal blood flow. While the severity of coarctation can vary, cases with significant narrowing can lead to serious health issues and often necessitate surgical or interventional procedures shortly after birth.

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    Key Characteristics of Coarctation of the Aorta

    Aortic Narrowing: In coarctation of the aorta, a portion of the aorta, typically located near the ductus arteriosus (a fetal blood vessel), is narrower than usual. This constriction obstructs the flow of oxygenated blood from the heart to the lower part of the body.

    Increased Pressure: The narrowing results in increased pressure in the aorta before the constriction, leading to high blood pressure (hypertension) in the upper body while causing reduced blood flow to the lower body and legs.

    Fetal Ductus Arteriosus: In some cases, the ductus arteriosus, which is a fetal blood vessel that connects the pulmonary artery and the aorta, may remain open after birth, allowing for some degree of blood flow past the coarctation. However, this can lead to complications.

    Symptoms and Complications:

    The severity of coarctation of the aorta can vary, and symptoms may be more pronounced in infants and children, but they can include:

    High blood pressure: Hypertension in the upper body.

    Differences in blood pressure between the arms and legs.

    Heart murmurs: Abnormal heart sounds that can be detected during a physical examination.

    Weak or delayed pulse in the lower extremities.

    Cold legs or feet.

    Fatigue and shortness of breath during physical activity.

    Without prompt diagnosis and intervention, coarctation of the aorta can lead to complications, such as heart failure, aneurysm formation, or even cerebral hemorrhage in severe cases.

    Treatment and Management:

    Treatment for coarctation of the aorta often involves surgery or minimally invasive procedures to correct the narrowing. These interventions aim to restore normal blood flow, reduce hypertension, and prevent further complications. Surgery may be performed as an open-heart procedure or through less invasive techniques, depending on the specific case.

    Early diagnosis through newborn screening and regular medical checkups is crucial to ensure timely intervention, which can significantly improve the long-term prognosis for individuals with coarctation of the aorta. With appropriate treatment, most people with this condition can lead healthy, active lives.

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      Dr. Aseem Ranjan Srivastava

      Dr. Aseem Ranjan Srivastava

      Specialist:       Pediatric Cardiologist
      Experience:    20+ years of experience
      Hospital:         Artemis Hospital

      About Doctor:

      • Dr. Aseem Ranjan Srivastava is associated as senior consultant of Paediatric cardiology and Cardiac surgery wing at Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon.
      • Dr. Aseem Ranjan Srivastava is trained in Congenital Cardiac Surgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (2012-13) and The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC (2011-12)
      • Possess extensive experience of 20+ years in Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery. Read More

      Artemis Hospital

      Artemis Hospital Gurgaon

      • Artemis Hospital, established in 2007, spread across 9 acres, is a 600plus bed; state-of-the-art multi-speciality hospital located in Gurgaon, India.
      • Artemis Hospital is the first JCI and NABH accredited hospital in Gurgaon.
      • Designed as one of the most advanced hospitals in India, Artemis provides a depth of expertise in the spectrum of advanced medical & surgical interventions, a comprehensive mix of inpatient and outpatient services. Read More
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