What is coarctation of the aorta (CoA)?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Syamasundar Rao Patnana, MD; Chief Editor: Stuart Berger, MD  more...
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Coarctation of the aorta may be defined as a constricted aortic segment that comprises localized medial thickening, with some infolding of the medial and superimposed neointimal tissue. [1] The localized constriction may form a shelflike structure with an eccentric opening or may be a membranous curtainlike structure with a central or eccentric opening. The coarctation may be discrete, or a long segment of the aorta may be narrowed; the former is more common.

In the past, coarctation of the aorta has been described as preductal (or infantile) type or postductal (or adult) type, depending on whether the coarctation segment is proximal or distal to the ductus arteriosus, respectively. However, a closer examination of the anatomy suggests that all coarctations are juxtaductal.

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