20 Right aortic arch

Donor: Royal Victoria Hospital
Date: 1914
Size (H x W x D cm): 15 x 12 x 10
Abbott No 61

A front view shows the aortic arch wrapping around the trachea posteriorly (A, arrow). On a side view, the ligamentum arteriosum (residuum of the ductus arteriosus) extends from the aorta (B, short arrow) to the pulmonary artery, (B, long arrow) just next to the esophagus (B, *).


A. Click on image to enlarge.    B. Click on image to enlarge.

History: Sixty-one year-old woman with intestinal obstruction; incidental finding at autopsy.

Comment: In this condition (also called vascular ring or sling), the left fourth aortic arch and dorsal aorta fail to develop and are replaced by the corresponding right sided vessels which encircle the trachea and esophagus. A variety of other vascular anomalies (such as aberrant left subclavian artery) also can be seen. In some cases, the ligamentum arteriosum compresses the esophagus sufficiently to cause symptomatic difficulty in swallowing.

A sketch of the specimen by Dr George Adami, Chair of the McGill Department of Pathology from 1892 to 1919, reproduced in Maude Abbott's Atlas of Congenital Cardiac Disease.




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