Interventions for aortic coarctation

Cardiol Rev. 2002 May-Jun;10(3):139-48. doi: 10.1097/00045415-200205000-00002.


The standard treatment of coarctation of the aorta is surgical. In the last 2 decades, however, treatment by catheter intervention has become more widespread, using either balloon angioplasty or primary stent implantation. Balloon angioplasty was originally used for recurrent coarctation after surgical repair but has now been shown equally effective for unoperated coarctation. The procedure produces a satisfactory gradient reduction in approximately 80% of patients, with transverse arch hypoplasia the main predictor of poorer outcome. Rates of restenosis and aneurysm formation are less than 10%. Primary stent implantation has been suggested as an option potentially superior to angioplasty alone. Stent implantation limits elastic recoil and potentially reduces aneurysm formation by reducing the amount of balloon stretch required. The incidence of suboptimal gradient reduction is low, probably 5% or less, as is the rate of restenosis. Aneurysm formation, vascular complications, and stent migration also occur in less than 5%. Catheter interventions are now an established treatment strategy for coarctation, with a good success rate and safety profile. The outcome for native and recurrent coarctation appears similar. The authors believe that for most adult patients with coarctation of the aorta, catheter intervention should be offered as initial therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon / methods*
  • Aortic Coarctation / surgery
  • Aortic Coarctation / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Prognosis
  • Stents*