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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Prevention and Risk Assessment
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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.
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Providers Who Treat Aortic Coarctation
Departments that Treat Aortic Coarctation
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.
The Zickler Family Prenatal Pediatrics Institute
The Zickler Family Prenatal Pediatrics Institute at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., provides specialized care for babies during pregnancy, delivery and after birth.
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.