What are the features of early presentation of coarctation of the aorta (CoA)?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Syamasundar Rao Patnana, MD; Chief Editor: Stuart Berger, MD  more...
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The presence of associated defects and aortic arch anomalies, the extent of patency of the ductus arteriosus, the rapidity of the process of closure of the ductus arteriosus, and the level of pulmonary vascular resistance determine the timing of clinical presentation and the severity of symptoms. Young patients may present in the first few weeks of life with poor feeding, tachypnea, and lethargy and progress to overt CHF and shock. [15, 28] These patients may have appeared well prior to hospital discharge, and deterioration coincides with closure of the patent ductus arteriosus. Presentation may be abrupt and acute with ductal closure.

Development of symptoms is often accelerated by the presence of associated major cardiac anomalies, such as ventricular septal defect (VSD). Symptoms may be subtle at first, and patients may make repeated trips to the physician before finally presenting in extremis.

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