Coarctation of the aorta

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Coarctation of the aorta

  • Features of coarctation of the aorta (congenital narrowing of the aorta) may be visible on a chest X-ray
  • Coarctation causes blood flow to be deviated from the upper part of the descending aorta into the intercostal vessels of the 4-8th ribs bilaterally which results in ‘notching’ of their inferior edge
  • These signs are subtle and so a high degree of clinical suspicion is often required to make the diagnosis

Coarctation - figure 3 sign

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Coarctation - figure 3 sign

  • The narrowing (coarctation) results in the descending aorta taking on a contour said to resemble a figure ‘3’

Coarctation - Stent

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Coarctation - Stent

  • (Same patient as two images above)
  • This patient has been treated with stent insertion at the point of coarctation