The Natural and Unnatural History of Congenital Aortic Arch Abnormalities Evaluated in an Adult Survival Cohort

Joyce E. Lodeweges, Frederik G. Dikkers, Barbara J. M. Mulder, Jolien W. Roos-Hesselink, Hubert W. Vliegen, Arie P. J. van Dijk, Gertjan T. Sieswerda, Thelma C. Konings, Rolf M. F. Berger, Dirk-Jan Slebos, Tjark Ebels, Joost P. van Melle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: This study describes the different types of congenital vascular rings according to their anatomy, symptoms, and age at clinical onset and reports the surgical outcomes. Methods: A retrospective observational database study was conducted, reviewing the medical charts of 69 adult survivors with a history of a vascular ring, identified from the Dutch Congenital Cor vitia database. Results: Median age at presentation was 8.5 years (0-53.0 years). Thirty patients (43.5%) had a “left aortic arch with aberrant right subclavian artery,” 21 patients (30.4%) a “double aortic arch,” and 16 patients (23.2%) a “right aortic arch with aberrant left subclavian artery.” The main symptomatology at presentation comprised respiratory symptoms (82.9%). Almost three-quarters of patients were also diagnosed with asthma/bronchial hyperreactivity. Patients with a double aortic arch had more symptoms than patients with a left aortic arch with aberrant right subclavian artery and right aortic arch with aberrant left subclavian artery (P < 0.001), requiring surgery most often (P < 0.001). In patients with childhood onset of symptoms, preoperative spirometry (ie, peak expiratory flows) was more often abnormal as compared with adult patients (P = 0.007). Surgery was performed in 42.0% of all patients at a median age of 17 years (0-63.0 years). Twenty-four (92.3%) of the operated patients showed improvement or complete relief of symptoms shortly after surgery. Of 26 asymptomatic nonoperated patients, 3 patients (11.5%) eventually developed symptoms. Conclusions: The low incidence of vascular rings, their anatomic heterogeneity, and a wide range of common symptoms often lead to misdiagnosis. Clinical awareness is warranted as a large subset of patients could benefit from surgery, even at an adult age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-445
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Cardiology
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

Cite this

Lodeweges, J. E., Dikkers, F. G., Mulder, B. J. M., Roos-Hesselink, J. W., Vliegen, H. W., van Dijk, A. P. J., ... van Melle, J. P. (2019). The Natural and Unnatural History of Congenital Aortic Arch Abnormalities Evaluated in an Adult Survival Cohort. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 35(4), 438-445. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2018.12.004