How is Coarctation of the Aorta Diagnosed?
• Chest X-ray: Electromagnetic energy produces pictures of the structures in the chest, including the arteries. • Echocardiogram: An exam that evaluates the structure and function of the heart, arteries and other structures in the chest through sound waves recorded on an electronic sensor. • Ultrasound imaging: Sound waves are used to measure blood flow in the artery and determine whether there is an aneurysm. • Computed tomography (CT) scan: X-ray slices of the aorta are taken to determine if there are any aneurysms. • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan: Radio waves and magnetic fields are used to show areas where an aneurysm may be present. • Cardiac catheterization and aortography: A cardiac catheterization sends a catheter into either side of the heart to get information about how the heart and its major arteries are functioning. An aortography injects a contrast agent – similar to a dye – into the aorta, then uses X-rays to check for any narrowing of the artery.