J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2022 Jul;12(2):143-147. 10.34160/jkds.2022.12.2.009.

Dysphagia Aortica Initially Misdiagnosed as Poststroke Dysphagia: A Case Report

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Daejeon Eulji University Hospital, Eulji University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea


Dysphagia aortica is a rare form of mechanical dysphagia characterized by extrinsic compression of the esophagus by the aorta. A 69-year-old male reported experiencing swallowing difficulties for five months, along with nausea, abdominal discomfort, weight loss, and severe reflux. Considering his age and a medical history of hypertension and stenosis of the cerebral artery, poststroke dysphagia was initially suspected. However, brain magnetic resonance imaging revealed no evidence of acute or subacute stroke. Further evaluation was achieved via enhanced chest computed tomography to locate the focus of the systemic inflammation. A thoracic aortic aneurysm about 8.7×5.0 cm in size, with signs of impending rupture, was observed. This case reinforces that a high possibility for dysphagia aortica should be considered under conditions of unclear etiology of dysphagia but the presence of associated symptoms, such as progressive intolerance to solids and ultimately to liquids, weight loss, and nausea.


Deglutition disorders; Dysphagia aortica; Esophageal dysphagia; Aortic aneurysm
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