Coarctation of the Aorta
Signs and Symptoms

Mild cases of coarctation of the aorta may not produce symptoms until later in life. In babies with severe cases, however, signs and symptoms typically appear shortly after birth. The symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heavy sweating
  • Irritability
  • Pale skin

Older children with coarctation of the aorta tend to have less severe narrowing of the aorta; thus, they often don't have symptoms. Your child's doctor may suspect a problem if he or she hears a distinctive murmur in your child's heart or if your child has high blood pressure in the arms and low pressure in the legs.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Leg cramps or cold feet
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nosebleeds
  • Shortness of breath

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Heart Center

Interventional Cardiology Program
1975 Fourth St., Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-4704
Fax: (415) 353-4144
Appointment information

Cardiothoracic Surgery Program
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-3501
Fax: (415) 353-4144