- Defects in which only one ventricle is present.
- Ventricular septal defect.
- Patent ductus arteriosus.
- Aortic valve stenosis.
- Mitral valve stenosis.
- Cold feet or legs.
- Dizziness or fainting.
- Decreased ability to exercise.
- Failure to thrive.
- Leg cramps with exercise.
- Poor growth.
- Pounding headache.
- Shortness of breath (SOB).
- Cardiac catheterization and aortography.
- Echocardiography is the most common test to diagnose this condition, and it may also be used to monitor the patient after surgery.
- Heart CT may be needed in older children.
- MRI or MR angiography of the chest may be needed in older children.
- Both Doppler ultrasound and cardiac catheterization can be used to see if there are any differences in blood pressure in different areas of the aorta.
- Patch aortoplasty. Your doctor may treat your coarctation by cutting across the constricted area of the aorta and then attaching a patch of synthetic material to widen the blood vessel. Patch aortoplasty is useful if the coarctation involves a long segment of the aorta.
- Left subclavian flap angioplasty. A portion of the left subclavian artery, the blood vessel that delivers blood to your left arm, may be used to expand the narrowed area of the artery.
- Bypass graft repair. This technique involves bypassing the narrowed area by inserting a plastic tube called a graft between the portions of the aorta.
- Balloon angioplasty is an option for initially treating aortic coarctation or for treating re-narrowing (re-coarctation) that has occurred after surgery. During this procedure, your doctor inserts a thin flexible tube (catheter) into an artery in your groin and threads it up through your blood vessels to your heart. An uninflated balloon is placed through the opening of the narrowed aorta. When the balloon is inflated, the aorta widens and blood flows more easily. In some cases, a mesh-covered hollow tube called a stent is inserted to keep the narrowed part of the aorta open.
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