Coarctation of the aorta - a narrowing of the aorta - the main artery that leaves the heart. The term "coarctation" means a narrowing of the lumen size. The disease is congenital.
In the aorta of the heart blood flows to all other vessels that supply the tissues and organs of the body needs nutrients and oxygen. As part of this structure is the constriction of blood flow is complicated.
Causes of aortic coarctation
The cause of aortic coarctation are violations in the formation of the aorta in the fetal development. Aorta tapers substantially yukstaduktalno (near the ductus arteriosus). Ductus arteriosus connects the pulmonary artery and the aorta left and performs its functions within the womb and in early alveolar breath immediately closed. It was during the period of the fetal tissue flow goes to the aorta and closes the wall and that, consequently, helps to narrow.
In more rare cases cause coarctation of the aorta can be Takayasu's arteritis, trauma or aortic atherosclerotic lesion character, because of which the coarctation of the aorta may occur throughout life.
Genetically predisposed to aortic coarctation people with Turner syndrome who have 45 chromosomes instead of 46. 10% of patients with this syndrome have coarctation of the aorta.
Coarctation of the aorta can be combined with other congenital heart defects:
• bicuspid aortic valve. The aortic valve is used for the separation of the aorta from the left ventricle. In normal development, it has three leaflets;
• ventricular septal defect. Thus vice between the left and right ventricles, there is a message for which the blood from the left ventricle, which contains oxygen, is mixed with the venous blood in the right ventricle;
• patent ductus arteriosus. Ductus arteriosus normally should be closed immediately after the baby's birth;
• Stenosis of the mitral or aortic orifice valves. This vice openings are narrowed.
Symptoms of aortic coarctation
Symptoms of aortic coarctation depend on the amount of blood that can pass through the narrowed section of the main artery for some time. Could aggravate the situation further defects of the cardiovascular system.
Coarctation of the aorta in children in 50% of cases there had since birth. In other cases, the symptoms of coarctation of the aorta occur in adolescence.
The symptoms of coarctation of the aorta are:
• shortness of breath;
• fainting or dizziness;
• pain in the head;
• chest pain;
• constantly cold feet and legs;
• bleeding from the nose;
• leg cramps during exercise;
• hypertension (high blood pressure) during exercise;
• fatigue during exercise;
• short stature;
Sometimes the symptoms may be entirely absent.
Diagnosis of aortic coarctation
For research tool used:
• chest X-ray;
• Magnetic resonance imaging.
If left untreated aortic coarctation in children may eventually develop:
• Rupture of the aorta;
• Coronary artery disease;
• aneurysm in the brain.
It is worth noting that the aortic coarctation poorly perfused organs, so gradually may develop degenerative changes in organs with subsequent violations of their functions.
Treatment of aortic coarctation
In most cases, coarctation of the aorta in children treated surgically immediately after birth or after some time. Before such operations in the coarctation of the aorta are assigned stabilizing drugs.
Children who have coarctation of the aorta was found in older age are also treated surgically. In most cases, they do not have pronounced symptoms, so you can be well prepared for surgery in coarctation of the aorta.
Treatment for coarctation of the aorta is removed, or the opening of a narrowed aorta. When the narrowed portion is small, it is removed and the remaining ends of the aorta connected to each other. This surgery is called anastomosis. If the narrowed part of the aorta is larger, use Dacron graft. It makes up for the defect and join the two parts of the aorta.
In the postoperative period can still be seen high blood pressure, so you may have to use antihypertensive drugs. There are cases when several years after surgery arise reshaped extension portion or it narrows again, so it may be necessary to re-operative intervention.
If your family history of coarctation of the aorta, it is desirable to pass the medical and genetic counseling and to identify as high risk for aortic coarctation your children.