These are MRI and MRA images of a 22-year-old man with aortic coarctation, a congenital condition whereby the aorta narrows in the area where the ductus arteriosus (ligamentum arteriosum after regression) inserts and it is considered when a section of the aorta is narrowed to an abnormal width.
Coarctation is a congenital anomaly of unknown etiology that results in a focal obstruction at the junction of the distal aortic arch and descending thoracic aorta. It is responsible for 6% of congenital cardiac anomalies. Although there is blood flow across the coarc segment, it is supplemented by collateral blood flow that bypasses the obstruction via intercostal, internal mammary, epigastric, spinal, and periscapular arteries.
It is rare before 10-years of age and is most pronounced along the posterior upper ribs. Prognosis is good with early surgical intervention, poor without surgical intervention; very high mortality rate by 6th decade of life in this subset of patients.
(Images and clinical informations via VCU Medical Center).