The cause of coarctation of aorta is unknown and it usually begins before birth and rarely develops late in life.
While doctors do not know what causes multiple heart defects to form together, coarctation of the aorta often occurs along with other congenital heart defects. You are more likely to have aortic coarctation if you or your child have certain heart conditions, such as
bicuspid aortic valve,
patent ductus arteriosus, holes in the wall between left and right sides of the heart,
aortic valve stenosis,
aortic valve regurgitation,
mitral valve stenosis or
mitral valve regurgitation.
In most cases, you are not required to limit your activity if your arm and leg blood pressures are normal. However if your blood pressure is still high, you may need to avoid certain strenuous exercise. Please ask your cardiologist if you should limit any activity.
Prevention of Infective Endocarditis (IE)
The incident of IE in congenital patient is higher than general population. Therefore it is important for congenital patient to maintain good oral, dental and skin hygiene as primary prevention. Cosmetic tattooing and piercing are discouraged due to the risk of IE. Antibiotic prophylaxis is considered for patient at highest risk for IE before surgery and dental procedures. Please discuss with your congenital team for the latest update on the antibiotic prophylaxis.
Family planning and pregnancy
Women with repaired coarctation rarely encounter any difficulties except if there is residual aortic valve abnormality, hypertension or significant residual coarctation. Please consult your cardiologist before starting a family.
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