Coarctation of the Aorta
Coarctation of the Aorta is a narrowing of the aorta, the largest artery in the body. The aorta carries blood to be distributed throughout the upper and lower body regions. If the narrowing is severe enough, it may restrict blood flow from the aorta to the lower parts of the body, making the heart work harder, which can lead to congestive heart failure. It also could decrease blood flow to other organs.
Surgery is almost always necessary in NICU infants. Often, the narrowed section is removed, and the two ends of the aorta are reattached.
If the neonate is critically ill, intravenous (IV) medication may be given to help keep the aorta open and to increase blood flow to the lower regions of the body.