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In patients with unexplained hypertension, especially in combination with a cardiac murmur, the presence of an aortic coarctation should always be ruled out given the high morbidity and mortality. However, particularly patients with an isolated coarctation often remain asymptomatic for years and the defect may be unnoticed even until the fifth or sixth decade of life. In the present article, we describe two patients with late detected coarctation to illustrate the clinical consequences, diagnostic clues for earlier detection and current therapeutic options to achieve optimal treatment. The key sign of an aortic coarctation, a difference in arterial blood pressure measured between the upper and lower extremities, should always be examined, followed by echocardiography. We conclude that even in case of a late detected severe coarctation, surgical or percutaneous repair has proven to be feasible and substantially effective, improving quality of life and lowering the risk of further hypertension-associated problems.
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- Therapy refractory hypertension in adults: aortic coarctation has to be ruled out
M. E. W. Hemels
E. S. Hoendermis
J. P. van Melle
P. G. Pieper
- Bohn Stafleu van Loghum