In patients with coarctation of the aorta arterial hypertension frequently persists when surgical repair is performed after age 20 years. There are little data on the long-term effect of angioplasty and the question remains to be determined whether hypertension is sufficiently treated by this procedure. Twenty-nine consecutive patients (9 females and 20 males) 14 to 54 years old (median, 25) underwent angioplasty for native coarctation of the aorta. Twenty-five patients (86%) had pre-existing systolic arterial hypertension (> 140 mm Hg). The mean peak systolic pressure gradient decreased from 62 +/- 18 to 21 +/- 13 mm Hg immediately after angioplasty. At hospital discharge 13 patients still had hypertension. After a mean follow-up interval of 4.0 years (range, 0.3-9.5) the residual peak pressure gradient was 14 +/- 13 mm Hg. Blood pressure was normal without antihypertensive therapy in 23 patients (79%). In the six hypertensive patients the pressure gradients were 7, 13, 30, 30, 35, and 60 mm Hg. One patient died 8 months after angioplasty and another underwent surgery for aortic aneurysm. Although this was an uncontrolled study the data suggest that normalization of blood pressure may occur more frequently after angioplasty than after surgery in adolescents and adults with native coarctation.