BACKGROUND: Coarctation of the aorta is an uncommon condition complicating pregnancy. It is often associated with hypertension and usually involves the aortic isthmus.
CASE: Coarctation of the descending thoracic aorta was found at 21 weeks' gestation after physical findings of hypertension, a holosystolic murmur over the entire left hemithorax, and diminished lower extremity pulses. The diagnosis led to thoracotomy and placement of a graft bypass after an otherwise uneventful pregnancy.
CONCLUSION: Unusual sites of coarctation of the aorta complicating pregnancy include the descending thoracic aorta.