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Aortic arch syndrome

Definition

Aortic arch syndrome refers to a group of signs and symptoms associated with structural problems in the arteries that branch off the aortic arch. The aortic arch is the top part of the main artery carrying blood away from the heart.

Alternative Names

Subclavian artery occlusive syndrome; Carotid artery occlusion syndrome; Subclavian steal syndrome; Vertebral-basilar artery occlusive syndrome

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Aortic arch syndrome problems are most often associated with trauma, blood clots, or malformations that develop before birth. The arteries' defects result in abnormal blood flow to the head, neck, or arms.

In children, there are multiple types of aortic arch syndromes, including:

  • Congenital absence of a branch of the aorta
  • Isolation of the subclavian arteries
  • Vascular rings

Symptoms

Symptoms vary according to the affected artery, but may include:

Treatment

Surgery is usually required to treat the underlying cause of aortic arch syndrome.

References

Braverman AC, Thompson RW, Sanchez LA. Diseases of the Aorta. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. . 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 60.

Isselbacher EM. Diseases of the Aorta. In: Goldman L,Schafer AI, eds. . 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier;2011:chap 78.

Media

  • Heartbeat

  • Vascular ring

    Vascular ring

Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.