Coarctation of the Aorta (COA)
Also known as: COA
What is Coarctation of the Aorta (COA)?
Coarctation of the aorta is a heart condition that is present at birth involving the narrowing of the aorta. This defect may occur on its own or in association with more complex heart defects and patients with chromosomal abnormalities.
What are the signs/symptoms?
- Rapid breathing
What causes Coarctation of the aorta?
COA may be caused by an improper development of the aorta during fetal growth; however most of the time this heart defect occurs by chance, with no clear reason for their development.
How is Coarctation of the aorta diagnosed?
COA may be discovered during your child’s physical exam, while a pediatrician is obtaining the child’s vital signs. The first suspicion of a coarctation is when the doctor notes a lower blood pressure in the legs. Other test that assist with diagnosing include:
- Chest X-ray
- Echocardiogram (ECHO): A fetal echo is an ultrasound of your baby’s heart. A fetal echo checks your baby’s heart structure, rhythm, and function as well as the growth and development of your baby.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): An electrocardiogram checks for problems with the electrical activity of the heart
- Cardiac catheterization: A minimally invasive procedure that provides comprehensive information about the structures inside the heart.
Treatment for Coarctation of the Aorta
If your baby is diagnosed with COA, the treatment is surgical repair of the narrowed vessel. The cardiovascular surgeon will cut out the narrowed section and sew the two healthy ends of the aorta back together. This reconstructs the arch and institutes normal blood flow through the aorta.
This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:05:08 PM
Ronald Kanter, MD of Nicklaus Children's Hospital is the Director of Electrophysiology with The Heart Program.
From the Newsdesk
Being told your child needs open heart surgery is frightening enough. A major concern is the pain after the procedure. Now a new type of anesthesia is proving to be a real game changer in the operating room. Jessica Garcia was born with a hole in her heart.
Meet our March Patient of the Month, Theodore. Theodore was diagnosed with cleft palate, cleft lip and a heart problem when he was only 18 weeks old. After he was born, Theodore had to be admitted into the NICU to be able to perform the necessary surgeries for him to live a healthy life.