Korean J Gastrointest Endosc.  2000 Sep;21(3):735-740.

Three Cases of Dysphagia Due to Vascular Ring in Adults

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.


Vascular rings resulting from abnormalities of the aortic arch can cause symptoms of esophageal or tracheal compression early in life. Right aortic arch with aberrant left subclavian artery is the most common type of aortic arch abnormalities, followed by double aortic arch, and then left arch with aberrant right subclavian artery. These anomalous vessels usually do not produce symptoms, but occasionally symptomatic patients require surgical intervention. Development of symptoms later in life is due to atherosclerotic enlargement of the arch (Kommerell's diverticulum). We experienced three adults who had anomalous vessels with dysphagia. Diagnosis was made by esophagography and chest CT. Of these three patients, one patient had Kommerell's diverticulum and underwent surgical repair to prevent rupture of an enlarged diverticulum as well as to relieve dysphagia. We consider that diagnosis of dysphagia caused by anomalous vessel is made by noninvasive chest CT and that the patients who have enlarged diverticulum should undergo surgical repair even with mild symptoms to prevent vascular rupture.


Dysphagia; Vascular ring; Aberrant subclavian artery; Right aortic arch; Kommerell's diverticulum
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