Right Aortic Arch
Types and Associated Cardiac Anomalies
An analysis was made of 78 pathologic specimens in which a right aortic arch was present. In four, the right arch was part of a double aortic arch. In 74 cases the right aortic arch was the only arch. The cases of right aortic arch could be subdivided into two groups as follows: (1) that with a retroesophageal aortic segment (three cases) and (2) that without a retroesophageal segment (71 cases).
The latter cases could be subdivided according to the nature of the origin of the branches of the arch as follows: (1) mirror image branching (60 cases), (2) aberrant left subclavian artery (ten cases) and (3) isolation of left subelavian artery (one case).
Congenital heart disease, of which the tetralogy of Fallot was the most common, was observed in each of the cases of right arch without retroesophageal aortic segment. Such an association was seen in one of three cases of right aortic arch with retroesophageal aortic segment and in three of the four cases of double aortic arch.
The potential for significant tracheal and esophageal obstruction is present in double aortic arch, in right aortic arch with retroesophageal segment and in right aortic arch without retroesophageal segment but with an aberrant left subelavian artery. In the latter condition, significant esophageal and tracheal compression depends upon the presence of a left-sided ductus arteriosus. This state was observed in five of ten cases with right aortic arch and aberrant left subelavian artery.
- © 1974 American Heart Association, Inc.