Midaortic syndrome

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Omar Bashir et al.

Midaortic syndrome is an uncommon entity affecting children and young adults. It is characterized by progressive narrowing of the abdominal aorta and its major branches.

The onset of symptoms is usually during childhood or young adulthood 2:

  • hypertension (most common)
  • intermittent claudication
  • renal failure

The exact cause is unknown in most cases though it is probably due to an insult during intrauterine life. Whilst intimal and subintimal fibrosis and fragmentation of the elastic media are seen, arteritis and atherosclerosis are characteristically absent in this condition. 

Elastin arteriopathy in Williams syndrome can rarely be a cause 5

Whilst involvement of any portion of the abdominal aorta may be seen, the interrenal segment including the origins of the renal arteries is invariably narrowed. Typically enlarged splanchnic collaterals (e.g. inferior mesenteric artery, arc of Riolan, the marginal artery of Drummond) are noted. The aortic bifurcation and iliac arteries are spared 3.

Endovascular treatment is the preferred mode as it is a minimally invasive treatment option. Balloon expandable stents / stent grafts are usually placed to expand the lumen of the aorta. Complex endovascular/surgical options such as fenestrated grafts with re-implantation of the renal arteries will be required if the renal arteries are involved.

Without treatment, life expectancy is dramatically shortened with most dying of ischemic/hypertensive complications by age 40 4.

Imaging differential considerations include 2:

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Article information

rID: 18946
Section: Syndromes
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Abdominal aortic coarctation
  • Mid-aortic syndrome
  • Middle aortic syndrome
  • Coarctation of the abdominal aorta
  • Subisthmic coarctation

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Cases and figures

  • Midaortic Syndrom...
    Case 1
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  • Case 2: with Williams syndrome
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