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Acta Radiol. 2011 Sep 1;52(7):738-42. doi: 10.1258/ar.2011.110013. Epub 2011 May 19.

Variations of the aortic arch - a study on the most common branching patterns.

Author information

1
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Section Neuroradiology, University Ulm, Germany. marguerite.mueller@uni-ulm.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anatomical variants of the aortic arch and its branching patterns often appear as an incidental finding during routine computed tomography (CT) scanning. These variations can be of relevance when performing angiography or endovascular interventions and may cause symptoms such as dysphagia.

PURPOSE:

To analyze common anatomical variations found within the arteries originating from the aortic arch in patients using contrast CT imaging techniques.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

A total of 2033 contrast CT scans were analyzed. To obtain a truly representative sample, cases were chosen from different hospital departments without previous knowledge of the patient history.

RESULTS:

The total percentage of variations within the analyzed patients was 13.3%. In 8.0% a truncus bicaroticus was found. 4.2% of the patients showed a left vertebral artery originating directly from the aortic arch, mostly proximal, and in 1 case distal to the left subclavian artery. In 1.0% we found an aberrant right subclavian artery. We also found a single case of a right descending aortic arch.

CONCLUSION:

Variations of the aortic arch and its branching are frequently found, mostly as an incidental finding during routine diagnostic scanning. A contrast-enhanced CT scan is a good method with which to study the aortic arch and its associated branching pattern.

PMID:
21596797
DOI:
10.1258/ar.2011.110013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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