Coarctation of the Aorta
Coarctation of the Aorta Diagram
Coarctation of the Aorta is a congenital heart defect characterized by a blockage (coarctation) in the aorta itself. This may consist of a shelf-like obstruction within the aorta or a narrowing of the vessel as shown in the Coarctation diagram to left.

The coarctation is located on the descending aorta near the heart, usually immediately past the point where the subclavian artery (SA in the diagram) exits the aorta on its way to the upper body.

In some cases, the aortic valve (AV) is abnormally formed in this defect, with only two valve leaflets rather than the usual three. This is known as Bicuspid Aortic Valve.
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