Aortic arch branching pattern variation: its incidence on a 20030 cases review

Caryn Recto, Maria Boddi, Jacopo Junio Valerio Branca, Gabriele Morucci, Alessandra Pacini, Massimo Gulisano, Ferdinando Paternostro


Variations in the branching pattern of the aortic arch are clinically relevant because of the direct influence that their presence can have on the success of cardio-vascular procedures, neck or thorax surgery, trauma management or intensive care. In most cases these anatomical variations are asymptomatic and considered clinically benign, but some particular aortic branching patterns have been associated with surgical complications or with vascular diseases in non-surgical patients. The main objective of this work was to study the frequency of variation of the aortic arch branching pattern in a wide and varied population on the basis of literature reports. The aortic arch branching pattern of 20,030 cases reported by 40 anatomical or radiological studies were analyzed. 84,52% of the studied population had a three branches pattern and 14,65% had a two branches pattern. The four primary arteries were seen arising directly from the aortic arch in 0,81% of the cases and only 0,02% had them all arising from a common trunk.


aortic arch; branching pattern; aortic variations; bovine arch

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