What are the features of late 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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Answer

Patients often present after the neonatal period with hypertension or a murmur. These patients often have not developed overt CHF because of the presence of arterial collateral vessels.

The diagnosis is often made after hypertension is noted as an incidental finding during evaluation of other problems, such as trauma or more routine illness. Other presenting symptoms may include headaches, chest pain, fatigue, or even life-threatening intracranial hemorrhage. True claudication is rare, although an occasional child may experience pain or weakness in the legs.

Many patients are asymptomatic except for the incidentally noted hypertension. Frequently, coarctation of the aorta is not recognized by the primary care physician. [25, 26, 29] Palpation of femoral pulses and measurement of blood pressure during routine examination is necessary to avoid a delay in the diagnosis.


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