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Progress in Pediatric Cardiology
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Coarctation of the aorta (CoA) is often considered a relatively simple disease, but long-term outcomes suggest otherwise as life expectancies are decades less than in the average population and substantial morbidity often exists. What follows is an expanded version of collective work conducted by the authors' and numerous collaborators that was presented at the 1st International Conference on Computational Simulation in Congenital Heart Disease pertaining to recent advances for CoA. The work begins by focusing on what is known about blood flow, pressure and indices of wall shear stress (WSS) in patients with normal vascular anatomy from both clinical imaging and the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques. Hemodynamic alterations observed in CFD studies from untreated CoA patients and those undergoing surgical or interventional treatment are subsequently discussed. The impact of surgical approach, stent design and valve morphology are also presented for these patient populations. Finally, recent work from a representative experimental animal model of CoA that may offer insight into proposed mechanisms of long-term morbidity in CoA is presented.