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Coarctation of the Descending Thoracic Aorta Diagnosed During Pregnancy

Sherer, David M. MD

Case Reports

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.

Hypertension, a systolic murmur, and diminished lower extremity pulses led to diagnosis of extensive coarctation of the descending thoracic aorta at 21 weeks' gestation.

Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York

Address reprint requests to: David M. Sherer, MD, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, State University of New York (SUNY), Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Avenue, Box 24, Brooklyn, NY 11203-2098; E-mail: dmsherer@aol.com.

Received November 30, 2001. Received in revised form March 20, 2002. Accepted April 4, 2002.

© 2002 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists