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Pediatric Aortic Coarctation

Key points about coarctation of the aorta (COA) in children

  • COA is a congenital heart defect. It means the aorta is narrower than it should be.
  • Symptoms can vary from mild to more severe. They may include trouble breathing, poor weight gain, poor feeding and pale skin.
  • If not treated, it can lead to coronary artery disease, kidneys not working well, high blood pressure in the upper body and low blood pressure in the lower body, and even death.
  • COA can be fixed by cardiac catheterization or surgery.
  • After surgery, most children live healthy lives. But regular follow-up care is needed.

Prevention and Risk Assessment



Children's Team

Children's Team


Our Stories

Our Stories

Cayden and Reagen as babies laying next to eachother sleeping

Cayden's Story

Cayden was born with a life-threatening complex congenital heart defect. Learn how the hybrid procedure for HLHS helped Cayden.



Prenatal Cardiology Program

Children diagnosed with heart conditions before they are born receive comprehensive, expert care from our fetal cardiology specialists. Learn more about our Prenatal Cardiology Program.

Children's National Heart Institute

Our expert pediatric heart team, including more than 40 subspecialties, offer advanced heart care and excellent outcomes for thousands of children every year.