Coarctation of Aorta: An infant heart disease-By Dr.Deepti M
General belief of the people is that, only the adults and that too people with unhealthy lifestyle and food habits, become prone to heart diseases. But, there are some heart diseases, which are seen among the infants. They are called the congenital heart diseases. They are present in the infants since the time of birth. Coarctation of aorta also belongs to the category of congenital heart diseases. Many small babies are becoming the victims of this malady, which adversely influences their health.
Now, we know that coarctation of aorta is an ailment of the babies. But, many of us haven’t heard of this illness before. This is a completely new thing for us. Do you know what the disease is actually about? Well, coarctation of aorta is nothing but, the narrowing of the aorta. Now, you might ask me what this aorta is. Aorta is the biggest artery of our body. Artery is a blood vessel, which supplies the blood carrying oxygen to the entire body.
Coarctation of Aorta symptoms:
There are many symptoms of coarctation of aorta, which adversely affect the infant’s health. Let us talk about the most important symptoms:
Chest pain is a common symptom, which is seen among people suffering from many different heart diseases. But, the mechanism involved in the production of chest pain, is completely different for all the heart diseases. In coarctation of aorta, the flow of blood from the heart is obstructed. So, the blood gets pooled in the heart, which enlarges the heart and causes Left ventricular hypertrophy. The size of the muscles of the heart enhances, in order to tolerate the increased amounts of blood. But, the size of the arteries supplying blood to the heart remains the same. So, these kids get chest pain due to the diminished supply of blood to the heart.
Syncope is another term, which is used to describe unconsciousness. As the flow of blood from the heart is diminished, their brain doesn’t get enough supply of blood. So, their brain can’t function normally, and the kids become unconscious, all of a sudden.
The pressure of blood in some arteries of these kids is increased, due to the obstruction of the blood. This in turn produces severe headache, especially at the back of the head.
Wasting of the limbs or legs:
The limbs of these kids don’t get adequate blood supply, due to the obstruction of blood flow from the heart. All the parts of our body require sufficient nutrition through blood, in order to develop in a good manner. But, the kids having coarctation of aorta don’t get the required nutrition, which leads to the wasting of the limbs.
How is Coarctation of Aorta treated?
We have seen all the possible symptoms of coarctation of aorta. Now, let’s talk about the treatment options available for the treatment of coarctation of aorta.
Balloon dilatation is a procedure which is used to enlarge the narrowing in the heart and blood vessels, by passing a balloon like structure. This structure can get inflated and thus ameliorate the obstruction.
Stenting is employed, when balloon dilatation fails to produce the required results. In this method, a stent is passed through the aorta to relieve the obstruction.
Cardiothoracic Vascular surgery:
If all the above treatments fail to produce results, then this surgery is done. In this surgery, abnormal or narrowed part of aorta is removed and is replaced by an artificial part made up of polymer-By Dr.Deepti M