What Causes Coarctation of the Aorta?
Coarctation of the aorta (or COA for short) is a congenital defect, meaning that someone is born with it. About 1 in 100 children is born with a heart problem, and coarctation represents about 8% of cases. Doctors don’t know for sure why certain people are born with this narrowing of the aorta. Coarctation occurs more commonly in boys. However, it is commonly seen in girls with Turner syndrome, in which one of a girl’s two X chromosomes is incomplete or missing. COA may occur with other birth defects or congenital heart conditions, such as a ventricular septal defect (a hole in the wall between the heart’s left and right ventricles). Coarctation can also be associated with abnormalities of the other structures of the left side of the heart. A common association is a bicuspid aortic valve, in which the aortic valve between the left ventricle and aorta has two leaflets instead of the normal three. Most people with COA are diagnosed when they are babies or young children. But some may not