Useful signs for the assessment of vascular rings on cross-sectional imaging

Gould, S. W.; Rigsby, C. K.; Donnelly, L. F.; McCulloch, M.; Pizarro, C.; Epelman, M.

Pediatr Radiol. 2015 Aug 12; 45(13):2004-16


Vascular rings can be challenging to diagnose because they can contain atretic portions not detectable with current imaging modalities. In these cases, where the compressed airway and esophagus are not encircled by patent, opacified vessels, there are useful secondary signs that should be considered and should raise suspicion for the presence of a vascular ring. These signs include a double aortic arch, the four-vessel sign, the distorted subclavian artery sign, a diverticulum of Kommerell, a ductal diverticulum contralateral to the aortic arch, and a descending aorta contralateral to the arch or circumflex aorta. If none of these findings is present, a ring can be excluded with confidence.

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