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Coarctation of the aorta in a 6 month old
© The Author(s) 2010
- Received: 6 October 2010
- Accepted: 20 October 2010
- Published: 8 December 2010
- Aortic Arch
- Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
- Subclavian Artery
- Systolic Hypertension
Coarctation of the aorta is a narrowing of the lumen of the aortic arch classified as either “pre-ductal” or “post-ductal” based on the location relative to the origin of the left subclavian artery [1–3]. In 85% of cases, coarctation of the aorta is seen with other congenital defects . Males are twice as likely to have coarctation of the aorta, although it is a common manifestation of Turner’s syndrome [1, 3].
The condition can also be sub-divided into infantile (within the first year of life) and non-infantile (delayed) presentation. When the ductus arteriosus closes shortly after birth, infants with coarctation can present with cardiovascular collapse and resulting cyanosis . In the non-infantile presentation, collateralization of blood vessels (including intercostal, subclavian, vertebral, anterior spinal, and internal mammary arteries) allows for the distal aorta to be adequately perfused [1, 3]. In the non-infantile presentation, upper extremity systolic hypertension, a short systolic murmur in the left interscalpular area, and diminished/absent femoral pulses can be seen in otherwise asymptomatic patients . Older children and adults present symptomatically with dyspnea, headache, and/or leg fatigue [1, 3]. Our patient presented early because a para-influenza pneumonia stressed his cardiopulmonary system, caused wheezing, and led a prudent physician to obtain a chest X-ray in this “first-time wheezer.”
Research was performed at the SUNY Upstate Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine.
Conflict of interest
- Brickner E (2007) Congenetal heart defects. In: Textbook of cardiovascular medicine, 3rd edn. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, PhilidelphiaGoogle Scholar
- Ferencz C, Rubin JD, Loffredo CA et al (1993) Epidemiology of congenital heart disease: the Baltimore-Washington Infant Study 1981–1989. In: Anderson RH (ed) Perspectives in pediatric cardiology, vol 4. Futura, Mount Kisco, NY, p 353Google Scholar
- Crawford M (2009) Coarctation of the aorta. In: Current diagnosis and treatment cardiology, 3rd edn. McGraw-Hill, NYGoogle Scholar
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