Glossary of Terms
Coarctation of the aorta
Coarctation of the aorta most commonly occurs as a narrowing of the descending aorta in the area of the ductus arteriosus. It causes elevated pressures in the ascending aorta and left ventricle which create mitral regurgitation and back pressure to the lungs, and may result in congestive heart failure (CHF). The increased pressure in the ascending aorta produces elevated blood pressures in the arms with possible headaches, nosebleeds, flushed cheeks, strokes (from aneurysms, thrombosis, emboli) and lower blood pressure in the legs.