Cervical Arch of the Aorta

Cervical Arch of the Aorta

The Common Vein Copyright 2008


The cervical arch is a congenital abnormality characyerized by a malposition of the arcch which is too cranial or sometimes even within the soft tissues of the neck.  As a result the distal arch and proximal descending aorta becoame buckled and presents as a pseudocoarctation.  Most cervical arches are right sided.

The diagnosis should be considered as a rare cause of dysphagia sinve the abnormally positioned arch could impinge on the esophagus.  A chest X-ray would suggest the diagnosis but CT or MRI would confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for symptomatic patients is usually surgical.

Cervical Arch and Pseudocoarctation

This cross sectional view of the chest at the apex of the lungs at the level of the manubrial notch shows the top of the aortic ach which is more superior than usual and is known as a cervical arch. The aorta more inferiorly is also redundant and tends to kink eventually appearing as a pseudocoarctation. In this case only a kink is present.

Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD 33539 see 33535 code aorta arch cervical kink pseudocoarctation imaging radiology CTscan

Cervical Left Sided Aortic Arch with Severe Kinking and Aberrant Right Subclavian Artery

35361c01 aorta arch cervical arch pseudocoarctation angiogram angiography Courtesy Laura Feldman MD