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May 1928


Author Affiliations

Fellow in Medicine, The Mayo Foundation ROCHESTER, MINN.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1928;41(5):702-735. doi:10.1001/archinte.1928.00130170089009

Coarctation of the aorta signifies a constriction of the aorta in the region of its juncture with the ductus arteriosus or its vestige. The term, congenital stenosis of the isthmus, is also employed. The advantage of this term is that it is, as King1 has remarked, more easily understood by persons who do not read English readily. The disadvantages outweigh this, for the term is clumsy and subject to ambiguous abbreviation. Many authors have maintained that the condition develops after birth. The anatomic isthmus is that part of the aorta between the origin of the left subclavian and the mouth of the ductus arteriosus; this definition excludes the large number of cases reported in which the constriction is distal to the insertion of the ligamentum arteriosum. However, in 1839, Mercier2 wrote "coarctation" in French; ten years later Diesterweg,3 "coarctatio" in Latin, and the English word coarctation has an honorable history