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November 1987

Recognition of Coarctation of the Aorta: A Continuing Challenge for the Primary Care Physician

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics (Dr Thoele) and the Division of Cardiology (Drs Muster and Paul), The Children's Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(11):1201-1204. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460110071025

• Coarctation of the aorta (CoA) in its classic form presents with characteristic and distinctive physical findings. However, In our survey less than one [ill]third of 106 consecutive patients in whom CoA was ultimately diagnosed hadad the correct diagnosis made by the referring physician. Our survey suggests that in asymptomatic infants and children,ildren, an incomplete physical examination explains the diagnostic failure.ure. However, in Infants presenting with heart failure, the diagnostic signs of CoA may be obscured and more difficult to recognize even when specifically sought. This survey reaffirms the need or specific physical examination techniques in all infants and children to faciltate early recognition of CoA; these include the palpation of pulses and proper measurement of blood pressure.

(AJDC 1987;141:1201-1204)

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