We describe a neonate with critical coarctation of the aorta. Since treatment with Prostaglandin El had failed to reopen the arterial duct, and surgery was deemed to be associated with an unacceptably high risk in this unstable neonate, it was decided to perform balloon dilation of the coarctation as a palliative procedure to stabilize the patient. Balloon angioplasty failed to reduce the pressure gradient across the coarctation, so a stent was implanted retrogradely as an emergency procedure. Subsequently, the stented segment was resected surgically and end-to-end anastomosis created without complications at seven months of age.
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