Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Aortic Coarctation Anatomy

To better understand coarctation of the aorta, it helps to understand the anatomy of the aorta.

The aorta is the largest arterial blood vessel in the body. It is divided into three main segments:
Aortic arch: originates at the heart and supplies the coronary arteries. Coarctations are generally located in the arch, near where the large artery to the left arm (subclavian artery) branches off.

  • Thoracic aorta: provides numerous branches, the intercostal arteries, which supply the chest wall.
  • Abdominal aorta: supplies the gut and then terminates in the iliac vessels, which supply the pelvis and lower extremities.

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Aortic Coarctation References
  1. Daniels SR. Repair of coarctation of the aorta and hypertension: does age matter? Lancet. 2001 Jul 14;358(9276):89. [11463407]
  2. Hornung TS, Benson LN, McLaughlin PR. Interventions for aortic coarctation. Cardiol Rev. 2002 May-Jun;10(3):139-48. [12047792]
  3. Massey R, Shore DF. Surgery for complex coarctation of the aorta. Int J Cardiol. 2004 Dec;97 Suppl 1:67-73. [1559008]
  4. Rao PS. Balloon angioplasty of native coarctation of the aorta. J Invasive Cardiol. 2000 Aug;12(8):407-9. [10953104]
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