Coarctation of the Aorta
Coarctation of the aorta is when the largest blood vessel in the body is narrowed. This narrowing makes it difficult for blood to reach the lower body. The symptoms depend on the severity of the narrowing. Newborns with a severe narrowing may be in shock with no blood flow to the legs, kidneys and intestines. If mild, older children may be diagnosed by weak leg pulses or an elevated blood pressure in their arms.
Normal heart – in a healthy heart with proper blood flow, the blue droplets representing oxygen-poor blood travel to the lungs, and the red oxygen-rich droplets circulate through the body.
A heart with coarctation of the aorta.