Aortic coarctation

Case contributed by Frank Gaillard


Reduced exercise tolerance.

Patient Data

Age: 25 years
Gender: Male

Chest x-ray


Chest x-ray demonstrates a relatively small aortic knuckle with an indentation in its contour laterally. The heart size is within normal limits, although the left apex appears to point inferiorly, perhaps suggesting ventricular hypertrophy. Lungs and pleura are unremarkable. The inferior surface of multiple posterior ribs appears notched. 

Figure 3 sign

Annotated image

The coarcted aorta is seen as an indentation of the lateral aspect of the vessel giving it a figure of 3 appearance. 

Case Discussion

This patient had known aortic coarctation of the aorta, and this x-ray was obtained prior to surgical correction. 

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