Symptoms & Signs
Because symptoms of double aortic arch are often mild, the problem may not be discovered until the child is a few years old.
The double aortic arch may press on the windpipe (trachea) and esophagus, leading to trouble breathing and swallowing. The severity of the symptoms depends on how much the aortic arch is pressing on these structures.
Breathing symptoms include:
- High-pitched sound during breathing (stridor)
- Noisy breathing
- Repeated pneumonias
Digestive symptoms may include:
- Difficulty eating and swallowing
Diagnosis & Tests
The symptoms may lead a doctor to suspect double aortic arch. Other tests will then be needed to diagnose this condition.
The following tests can help diagnose double aortic arch:
- Chest x-ray
- Scans that create cross-sectional images of the body (CT or MRI scan)
- Ultrasound examination of the heart (echocardiography)
- X-ray using a substance that outlines the esophagus (barium swallow)
Review Date : 2/5/2010
Reviewed By : Kurt R. Schumacher, MD, Pediatric Cardiology, University of Michigan Congenital Heart Center, Ann Arbor, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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