Double Aortic Arch—Child

Definition

Double aortic arch is a type of vascular ring heart defect. In a normal heart, the blood flows in from the body to the right atrium, goes into the right ventricle, and then goes to the lungs to pick up fresh oxygen. The blood returns to the left atrium, goes into the left ventricle, and goes out to the rest of the body through a large artery called the aorta.With a double aortic arch, the aorta branches into right and left tubes, instead of just being one large tube. The 2 tubes can circle around and compress the airways and/or esophagus.
Heart Chambers and Valves
heart anatomy
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Blood Flow Through the Heart
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Causes

Double aortic arch is a congenital defect. This means that the baby is born with the condition. It is not known exactly why the heart develops abnormally in some babies.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for developing double aortic arch are not well known.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lung infections
  • Poor feeding, including vomiting and choking
  • Trouble swallowing, including choking
  • Vomiting

Diagnosis

While this condition may be detected in infancy, it is often found later.You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Your child's bodily structures may need to be viewed. This can be done with: Your child's heart activity may need to be measured. This can be done with an electrocardiogram.

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