Coarctation of the Aorta: Open Your Heart to Me, Baby
This chapter reviews undiagnosed congenital heart disease. The most common is coarctation of the aorta. This life-threatening condition requires prompt recognition and intervention. A patient with critical coarctation may present suddenly at the time a patent ductus arteriosus suddenly closes. This presence of a heart murmur in conjunction with weak pulses in the lower extremities, listlessness, and a history of poor feed can be big clues to the diagnosis. The EKG may show right ventricular hypertrophy, and the chest X-ray may show cardiomegaly. Prompt resuscitation is paramount, and the initiation of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) should be done immediately upon suspicion of the diagnosis.
KeywordsCoarctation of the aorta Cyanotic heart disease Congenital heart disease
The authors of this chapter report no significant disclosures.
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