Double Aortic Arch

Also known as: DAA, vascular ring anomaly

What is double aortic arch?

Normally, the aorta (the large blood vessel that carries blood out of the heart to the rest of the body) develops into one large vessel that arches to the left as it leaves the heart. When a double aortic arch (rare) is present, (however one of the 2 most common forms of vascular ring abnormality of the aortic arch system) two tubes develop which circle and compress the windpipe (trachea) and/or food pipe (esophagus).

What causes double aortic arch?

Double aortic arch is a defect that is present at birth. It may be caused by abnormalities to certain chromosomes.

What are the symptoms of double aortic arch?

The symptoms of double aortic arch can be subtle and though usually appearing during the first 6 months of life, the diagnosis may not be discovered until the child is two or three years old.

Symptoms are usually related to compression of the trachea, esophagus or both and include stridor (a high pitched noise that can occur during breathing in and out), cough, noisy and difficulty breathing, a bluish skin color (cyanosis), and frequent respiratory infections.

When the esophagus is compressed, poor feeding, difficulty swallowing, choking or vomiting may occur.

What are double aortic arch care options?

Double aortic arch is treated with surgery.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: July 24, 2020 03:48 PM