Naim K Aortic Coarctation

Naim Kalousie had been in relatively good health, with no major complaints until a few months ago, when he started feeling a little off. He felt short of breath with minimal exertion and he also experienced unusual and persistent headaches. He was also found to be severely hypertensive. He was evaluated by his cardiologist who performed an extensive and thorough cardiovascular evaluation, to determine the root cause of his symptoms. It was discovered that he had a condition called Aortic Coarctation and he was then referred to cardiothoracic surgeon, Ioannis Loumiotis, MD for further management.

Aortic Coarctation is a localized narrowing of the thoracic aorta usually just beyond the takeoff of the left subclavian artery. It is a rare congenital condition, accounting for 4-6% of all congenital heart defects and occurs more frequently in males. The disease is usually diagnosed and treated in early infancy or childhood.

Adult Aortic Coarctation, which is what Naim had, is very uncommon but life threatening. The disease usually goes undetected for many years and exposes the heart to a consistently high afterload (high pressure). In other words, the heart has to work harder to pump blood forward. Without treatment, the average survival of patients is around 40 years old. Heart failure, heart attack, and stroke are among the most common causes of death. While Naim was unfortunately not diagnosed early, he was thankful his condition was identified. In these cases, immediate treatment is mandatory for survival. Naim underwent successful open surgical repair by Dr. Loumiotis at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, a facility of RWJBarnabas Health.

“At the time of his surgery, Naim’s aorta at the narrowest point measured approximately 0.9 cm, much narrower than the aorta should normally measure, which is around 3.0 cm,” Dr. Loumiotis said. Post-surgery Naim recovered remarkably well and was discharged home in only six days.

Dr. Loumiotis is a member of the RWJBarnabas Medical Group and under the RWJBH Northern Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery with practices at Newark Beth Israel and Saint Barnabas Medical Center. He specializes in all aspects of adult cardiac surgery and Aortic Surgery. Dr. Loumiotis has a special interest and vast experience in treating pathologies in any part of the aorta extending from the aortic root (origin of the aorta in the heart) to the aortic bifurcation. His advanced training and outcomes in this area are the driving force behind the success and excellence of the Aortic Center within the Northern Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery in treating patients with aortic pathologies (aneurysms, dissections, bicuspid valves, connective tissue diseases).

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Loumiotis, call 973-926-6938 or visit