Background: Atheromatosis of the thoracic aorta and aortic arch is a well established source of systemic embolism. Acquired atheromatous coarctation of the aortic arch is a rare finding and not well documentated so far. Case report and findings: Two patients presenting with intermittent claudication of the lower extremities were identified as having thromboatheromatous coarctation of the aortic arch as visualized by magnetic resonance tomography, fast CT scan, transesophageal echocardiography, cardiac catheterization and aortography. All findings including invasive hemodynamics resembled congenital coarctation of the aorta. One patient was treated surgically, while the other refused surgery and received long-term anticoagulation. Conclusion: Atheromatosis of the thoracic aorta and aortic arch not only cause systemic embolism, but may lead to the clinical and hemodynamic picture of coarctation of the aortic arch.