Vascular Ring

Also known as: vascular ring anomaly, double aortic arch, right aortic arch with left ligamentum arteriosum

What is Vascular Ring?

The aorta is a large artery that carries blood away from the heart and out to the rest of the body. When a vascular ring occurs, the aorta and/or its smaller branches develop in such a way that they form a ring around both the trachea (which carries air to the lungs) and the esophagus (which carries food to the stomach). There are different types of vascular rings all of which can cause a number of complications.
 

What causes vascular ring? 

Vascular ring is a defect that babies are born with (congenital birth defect). The exact cause is not known.
 

What are the symptoms of vascular ring? 

The most common symptoms of vascular ring are difficulty breathing and swallowing. Noisy breathing especially with eating is a common symptom of the condition. Difficulties eating or swallowing or vomiting  often develop as a child introduces solid foods to the diet. Persistent cough, acid reflux and a sensation of something being stuck in the throat are other symptoms.
 

What are vascular ring care options? 

Surgery is required to repair vascular rings to remove the obstruction that they cause to the trachea and esophagus.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/10/2017 2:44:45 PM

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