Coarctation of the Aorta Murmur

What is a coarctation of the aorta murmur?

Most of the time, when we think of the word “murmur” we imagine a sound we make with our mouths. However. any good cardiologist can tell you that the heart makes its own kind of murmurs. These murmurs come in a few different varieties and intensities and call tell us much about the way the heart works, how healthy it is, as well as a number of potential problems to watch out for. coarctation of the aorta murmur is just one type, which is just one of the signs that can give insight into a particular cognitive heart disorder.

Do you have aortic coarctation? The fact is, many people don't ever find out until they are well into adulthood, if ever. However, most cases do not lead to any serious complications or affect lifestyle in any major ways, so it is not necessary to fear too much. However, learning everything you can about this condition is one way to stay as healthy as possible for the long term.

Learning about a coarctation of the aorta murmur

Coarctation of the aorta can be simply described as the narrowing of a large blood vessel (known as the aorta), which extends from the heart and delivers large quantities of blood to the rest of the body on a daily basis. The condition occurs in fewer than 200,000 cases per year in the United States and is most often present at birth, although is sometimes not discovered until adulthood. Many individuals with aortic coarctation can go their entire lives without experiencing any side effects, leaving no need for treatment.

The most commonly seen symptoms are high blood pressure in adults. However, this is not usually a problem unless combined with other factors such as a genetic predisposition to heart failure, compounded by environmental factors such as diet or smoking. Other symptoms may include an enlarged heart, heart murmurs, pale blue skin from low circulation, diminished pulse, and shortness of breath. Rarely, coarctation of the aorta can lead to heart failure in babies, sometimes making more direct treatment necessary.

In extreme cases, surgery may be performed to correct the condition. Using a catheter-based operation, the aorta can be re-enlarged and blood flow restored.

Types of heart murmurs

Heart murmurs are one of the signs of coarctation of the aorta and can be used by cardiologists to understand how your condition may already be affecting your health. Understand all the different types of heart murmurs with the descriptions below:

  • Systolic murmurs – results from rough blood flow across pulmonary and aortic valves. While most common in children, systolic murmurs can also result from Coarctation in adults. They vary in intensity from barely audible, to loud enough to hear with the unaided ear.
  • Diastolic murmurs – Usually abnormal murmurs, which can tell of heart troubles of varying kinds. Some diastolic murmurs can tell cardiologists about conditions like rheumatic mitral stenosis.
  • Innocent murmurs – Are usually not very loud and are low in intensity. Most common in children, they do not pose any threat to the well-being of the patient.

Taking the next steps for a coarctation of the aorta murmur

If you believe you have an irregular heartbeat, it is probably best to visit your doctor soon. However, your problem is probably not Coarctation, as only the most severe cases would be apparent to the average patient.

The good news is that any undiagnosed coarctation you may be experiencing will not pose any significant threats to your health unless you are very young, or are suffering from high blood pressure anyway. If you do feel a tightness in your chest, shortness of breath, or chest pain, seeing a doctor immediately is advisable.

In the meantime, improving cardiovascular health is something that can be accomplished by simply improving your diet and getting regular exercise. The omega-3s found in fish are an excellent alternative to raw meat and can do wonders for your heart, as can nuts, berries, oatmeal, beans, and red wine when taken in moderation.

Slowly working cardiovascular fitness into your workout routine is another important cornerstone, which can increase heart health, and improve your ability to circulate fluids throughout your body.

Last Reviewed:
July 18, 2017
Last Updated:
October 25, 2017
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