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BMC Ear Nose Throat Disord. 2004 Mar 30;4(1):1.

Tracheostomy reveals a rare aberrant right subclavian artery; a case report.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, St Mary's Hospital, London W2 1NY, United Kingdom. neil_chadha@hotmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anomalies of vascular anatomy in the neck are well recognised. We present a case of a very rare aberrant artery discovered during tracheostomy.

CASE PRESENTATION:

Elective tracheostomy was performed in theatre for an elderly gentleman on long-term ventilation. Pre-operative examination of the neck revealed no obvious abnormality. During surgery, a large vessel was revealed overlying the tracheal fourth ring. This was found to be an anomalous right subclavian artery. The procedure was completed without complication.

CONCLUSIONS:

The vessel abnormality described has not been previously documented in this context. It illustrates the importance of thorough pre-operative assessment of the neck and a sound knowledge of the potential for vascular abnormalities. The increasing prevalence of percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy techniques makes this lesson increasingly relevant.

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