A review of the surgical management of right-sided aortic arch aneurysms

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2016 Jul;23(1):156-62. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivw058. Epub 2016 Mar 21.


Aneurysms and dissections of the right-sided aortic arch are rare and published data are limited to a few case reports and small series. The optimal treatment strategy of this entity and the challenges associated with their management are not yet fully investigated and conclusive. We performed a systematic review of the literature to identify all patients who underwent surgical or endovascular intervention for right aortic arch aneurysms or dissections. The search was limited to the articles published only in English. We focused on presentation and critically assessed different management strategies and outcomes. We identified 74 studies that reported 99 patients undergoing surgical or endovascular intervention for a right aortic arch aneurysm or dissection. The median age was 61 years. The commonest presenting symptoms were chest or back pain and dysphagia. Eighty-eight patients had an aberrant left subclavian artery with only 11 patients having the mirror image variant of a right aortic arch. The commonest pathology was aneurysm arising from a Kommerell's diverticulum occurring in over 50% of the patients. Twenty-eight patients had dissections, 19 of these were Type B and 9 were Type A. Eighty-one patients had elective operations while 18 had emergency procedures. Sixty-seven patients underwent surgical treatment, 20 patients had hybrid surgical and endovascular procedures and 12 had totally endovascular procedure. There were 5 deaths, 4 of which were in patients undergoing emergency surgery and none in the endovascular repair group. Aneurysms and dissections of a right-sided aortic arch are rare. Advances in endovascular treatment and hybrid surgical and endovascular management are making this rare pathology amenable to these approaches and may confer improved outcomes compared with conventional extensive repair techniques.

Keywords: Aneurysm; Dissection; Kommerell's diverticulum; Right-sided aortic arch.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aorta, Thoracic / abnormalities*
  • Aorta, Thoracic / diagnostic imaging
  • Aorta, Thoracic / surgery
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / etiology*
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / surgery*
  • Aortic Dissection / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Dissection / etiology*
  • Aortic Dissection / surgery*
  • Endovascular Procedures
  • Humans