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A Cadaveric Study Of Aortic Arch Variation In An Irish Population

Aisling M. O’Malley, Walid H. Kininy, H. Debebe, Azreena B. Burukan, Shane W. Davy
Published 2017 · Medicine

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AimThe aim of this study is to investigate the incidence of variation in the branching pattern of aortic arch (AA) vessels in an Irish population.MethodA cadaveric study of 24 subjects was conducted. The vessels of the AA were identified, their branching patterns were noted and photographed and the following measurements were recorded: the angle of the AA to the coronal plane, the distance from the midline to the brachiocephalic trunk (BCT); the left common carotid artery (LCC) ; the left subclavian artery (LSC), the distance between the BCT and the right subclavian artery (RSC); the RSC and the right vertebral artery (RVA), and between the LSC and left vertebral artery (LVA).ResultsThe ‘normal’ branching pattern (BCT, LCC, LSC) was observed in 79%. Thirteen percent had a two-branched AA (bovine variant), while the remainder had an aberrant left vertebral artery (LVA) originating from the AA. The mean distances from the midline to the BCT, LCC and LSC were 9.1, 10.8 and 21.4 mm, respectively. Mean distance from BCT to RSC was 34.09 mm. The mean distance from LSC to LVA was 39.79 mm, and the mean distance from RSC to RVA was 23.38 mm. The mean angle of the AA to the coronal plane was 59.02°.ConclusionThis is the first study documenting the rates of variation of the AA in Ireland. Variation of AA branching is of radiological and surgical significance, particularly in the diagnosis and treatment of thoracic and head and neck diseases. Awareness of these variations is particularly relevant for interventionalists who access these vessels during endovascular surgery.
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