The records of 21 patients who underwent operation for symptoms attributable to vascular ring were reviewed. The study covered 33 years, 1958 to 1991, and the mean follow-up was 6.8 years. The patients ranged from 7 days to 26 years old with a mean age of 2.9 years. Twenty patients were symptomatic. Symptoms were due to tracheal compression in 16 patients, esophageal compression in 2, and both causes in 2. During the first 30 years, chest roentgenography, barium swallow, and aortography constituted the diagnostic workup in the majority of the patients. During the last 3 years, magnetic resonance imaging replaced aortography. The surgical diagnosis included five variants of vascular ring. The surgical approach consisted of left thoracotomy in 19 patients and right thoracotomy in 2. These 2 had the diagnosis of right aortic arch with posterior left subclavian artery. In both instances, preoperative angiographic data determined the surgical approach. Barium swallow may be sufficient for the diagnosis of vascular ring; however, additional data are useful in determining the surgical approach. Magnetic resonance imaging can yield accurate data without subjecting the patient to the risks associated with angiography.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine