Eleven children with coarctation of the aorta were investigated before and after surgical treatment, using simultaneous indirect carotid and femoral pulse wave tracing. The timing of the onset of the femoral pulse in the children with coarctation, both before and after operation, did not differ significantly from normal. However, the time interval between the peak of the femoral pulse and the dicrotic notch of the carotid pulse was significantly shorter than normal in the children with coarctation before operation. After operation, the peak femoral to carotid dicrotic notch time interval was restored to normal. It is suggested that this simple non-invasive test might be of value in the long-term follow-up of patients after operation for coarctation of the aorta, particularly in those undergoing operation early in childhood, to detect residual or recurrent coarctation.
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