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BMJ Case Rep. 2010; 2010: bcr0420102937.
Published online 2010 October 6. doi:  10.1136/bcr.04.2010.2937
PMCID: PMC3030211
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Aberrant right subclavian artery and right-sided ductus arteriosus


A premature newborn weighing 1.9 kg, presenting with cyanosis, feeding and respiratory difficulties was admitted to our centre for further evaluation. An initial echocardiogram suggested a pulmonary atresia with a malalignment infundibular ventricle septum defect with atypical right-sided ductus arteriosus (2.4 mm) arising from the aberrant right subclavian artery (4 mm), which was originating from the left-sided descending aorta. The right ductus arteriosus was connected to a small central pulmonary bifurcation (2–3 mm). Intravenous prostaglandin E1 was initiated. A cardiac catheterisation revealed a relevant left to right shunt and normal coronary anatomy. A left ventriculography and an aortogram demonstrated a left aortic arch with two branches arising from it—the first being truncus brachiocephalicus followed by the left common carotid artery. The aberrant right subclavian artery originating from the left-sided descending aorta was communicated through a right patent ductus arteriosus with the pulmonary bifurcation (figure 1). Surgical treatment included a left-sided modified Blalock–Taussig shunt1 with resection of ductus arteriosus.

Figure 1
Aortogram (anterior posterior view): left-sided descending aorta, which is temporary occluded, aberrant right subclavian artery (arteria lusoria) originating from the descending aorta communicating through a right-sided ductus arteriosus with pulmonary ...

The case describes an unusual vascular ring2 3 with pulmonary atresia and ventricular septal defect. The only source of pulmonary blood flow was a right-sided persistent ductus arteriosus, which originated from an aberrant right subclavian artery.


Competing interests None.

Patient consent Obtained.


1. de Leval MR, McKay R, Jones M, et al. Modified Blalock-Taussig shunt. Use of subclavian artery orifice as flow regulator in prosthetic systemic-pulmonary artery shunts. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1981;81:112–19 [PubMed]
2. McKay R, Stark J, de Leval M. Unusual vascular ring in infant with pulmonary atresia and ventricular septal defect. Br Heart J 1982;48:180–3 [PMC free article] [PubMed]
3. Edwards JE. Retro-esophageal segment of the left aortic arch, right ligamentum arteriosum and right descending aorta causing a congenital vascular ring about the trachea and esophaguw. Mayo Clin Proc 1948;23:108–16 [PubMed]

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