Interventional Cardiology Expert Forum
Coarctation of the Aorta
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Questions in the Interventional Cardiology forum are answered by medical professionals affiliated with the Truman Medical Center. Topics covered include acute coronary syndrome, angina , atrial fibrillation , cardiac catheterization , cardiomyopathy , drug abuse & cardiac disease, echocardiography , heart failure , hypertension & heart disease , lipid management , minorities and heart disease, peripheral vascular disease prevention, valvular heart disease , women’s heart health, and the warning signs of a heart attack.

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Coarctation of the Aorta

I am a 26 year old female who has been followed with the signs, symptoms and anti-bodies of Lupus for the past 12 months but have not been officially diagnosed. I went in for my yearly heart check up as I have had MVP since I was 18. The cardiologist said that on my most recent Echo it looked like I had a congenital heart defect called a Coarctation of the Aorta (that was the first I had head of it). I went in for a CT scan with contrast dye and the results came back "normal". Are there any other heart defects or disorders that could cause the aorta to looked narrowed on the Echo but come back normal on the CT scan? Are there any other tests that I should request to have done? I have had so many heart related symptoms this past year (squeezing, chest pain, spikes in BP, etc) that I want to be thorough and be sure they are ruling everything out - especially with possible auto-immune involvement. Thank you.
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The CT scan should be a very good test for coarctation and if this is negative it is unlikely you have a coarctation.  An exercise test might be of value for you to see your heart rate and BP response to exercise.
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