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Circulation. 2004 Sep 21;110(12):1694-700. Epub 2004 Sep 7.

Major vascular anomalies in Turner syndrome: prevalence and magnetic resonance angiographic features.

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Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.



Turner syndrome (TS) is associated with aortic coarctation and dissection; hence, echocardiographic evaluation of all patients is currently recommended. X-ray angiography in clinically symptomatic patients has suggested a range of other vascular anomalies, but the true prevalence of such lesions in TS is unknown. To better understand the prevalence and pathogenesis of cardiovascular defects in TS, we prospectively evaluated a group of asymptomatic adult volunteers with TS using magnetic resonance (MR) angiography.


A total of 85 adults with TS and 27 normal female adult volunteers underwent gadolinium-enhanced 3D MR angiography. A high prevalence of aortic anomalies was seen in women with TS, including elongation of the transverse arch (49%), aortic coarctation (12%), and aberrant right subclavian artery (8%). Venous anomalies were also prominent, including persistent left superior vena cava (13%) and partial anomalous pulmonary venous return (13%). None of these anomalies were found in healthy female controls. The constellation of elongation of the transverse arch, aortic coarctation, and persistent left superior vena cava was significantly associated with women with TS. Neck webbing and increased thoracic anterior-to-posterior dimension diameters were strong predictors for arterial and venous anomalies.


Thoracic vascular anomalies are common in TS, occurring in approximately 50% of a group not preselected for cardiovascular disease. The highly significant association between neck webbing, increased chest diameter, and these vascular anomalies suggests that in utero, centrally localized lymphatic obstruction may contribute to these cardiovascular deformities in TS. Improved recognition of these often-undetected vascular lesions may be important for identification of patients in need of closer cardiovascular monitoring.

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