Vascular Compression Syndromes

  • Mark L. Wulkan


Vascular compression syndromes consist of vascular rings, pulmonary artery slings, and innominate artery compression syndrome. Vascular rings cause the majority of vascular compression syndromes. A double aortic arch and a right aortic arch with an aberrant left subclavian artery constitute approximately 85–95% of all thoracic vascular compression syndromes. There are no demographic predispositions to vascular compression syndromes. These anomalies occur equally in both males and females. Complete vascular rings encircle the trachea and esophagus causing compressive symptoms. Younger children tend to present with respiratory symptoms such as noisy breathing, stridor, cyanosis, apnea, respiratory distress, or a brassy cough. Patients might also have a history of reactive airway disease or recurrent pneumonias. It is not uncommon for children with a complete vascular ring to have some feeding difficulty, however formula and breast milk usually pass easily through the compressed esophagus. It is more common for older children to have symptoms of dysphagia and difficulty feeding. Patients with complete rings tend to present earlier and have more severe symptoms.


Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Subclavian Artery Left Pulmonary Artery Vascular Ring Double Aortic Arch 
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Suggested Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at EglestonEmory Children’s CenterAtlantaUSA

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