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Pediatric Aortic Coarctation

Key points about coarctation of the aorta (COA) in children

  • COA is a congenital heart defect. It means the aorta is narrower than it should be.
  • Symptoms can vary from mild to more severe. They may include trouble breathing, poor weight gain, poor feeding and pale skin.
  • If not treated, it can lead to coronary artery disease, kidneys not working well, high blood pressure in the upper body and low blood pressure in the lower body, and even death.
  • COA can be fixed by cardiac catheterization or surgery.
  • After surgery, most children live healthy lives. But regular follow-up care is needed.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Prevention and Risk Assessment

What is coarctation of the aorta in children?

What causes COA in a child?

What are the symptoms of COA in a child?


How is COA diagnosed in a child?


How is COA treated in a child?

What are possible complications of COA in a child?

How can I help my child live with COA?

When should I call my child's healthcare provider?

A Children's Heart Institute Fetal Heart Program Fetal Cardiac Imaging Program nurse performs a fetal echocardiography.

Prenatal Cardiology Care at Children's National Hospital

Our heart care begins before babies are even born, in our dedicated Prenatal Cardiology Program, where we diagnose and even treat prenatal heart conditions. Discover more about the treatments we offer.

A Children's Heart Institute Fetal Heart Program Fetal Cardiac Imaging Program nurse performs a fetal echocardiography.
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Providers Who Treat Aortic Coarctation

    Departments that Treat Aortic Coarctation

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    Children's National Heart Center

    Our expert pediatric heart team, including more than 40 subspecialties, offer advanced heart care and excellent outcomes for thousands of children every year.

    Prenatal Cardiology Program

    Children diagnosed with heart conditions before they are born receive comprehensive, expert care from our fetal cardiology specialists. Learn more about our Prenatal Cardiology Program.

    Prenatal Pediatrics Institute

    The Prenatal Pediatrics Institute at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., provides specialized care for babies during pregnancy, delivery and after birth.