Vascular rings publication

Backer, C. L.; Monge, M. C.; Popescu, A. R.; Eltayeb, O. M.; Rastatter, J. C.; Rigsby, C. K.

Semin Pediatr Surg. 2016 Jun 16; 25(3):165-75

Abstract

The term vascular ring refers to congenital vascular anomalies of the aortic arch system that compress the esophagus and trachea, causing symptoms related to those two structures. The most common vascular rings are double aortic arch and right aortic arch with left ligamentum. Pulmonary artery sling is rare and these patients need to be carefully evaluated for frequently associated tracheal stenosis. Another cause of tracheal compression occurring only in infants is the innominate artery compression syndrome. In the current era, the diagnosis of a vascular ring is best established by CT imaging that can accurately delineate the anatomy of the vascular ring and associated tracheal pathology. For patients with a right aortic arch there recently has been an increased recognition of a structure called a Kommerell diverticulum which may require resection and transfer of the left subclavian artery to the left carotid artery. A very rare vascular ring is the circumflex aorta that is now treated with the aortic uncrossing operation. Patients with vascular rings should all have an echocardiogram because of the incidence of associated congenital heart disease. We also recommend bronchoscopy to assess for additional tracheal pathology and provide an assessment of the degree of tracheomalacia and bronchomalacia. The outcomes of surgical intervention are excellent and most patients have complete resolution of symptoms over a period of time.

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