DefinitionAortic arch syndrome refers to a group of signs and symptoms associated with structural problems in the arteries that branch off the aortic arch. The aortic arch is the top part of the main artery carrying blood away from the heart.
Alternative NamesSubclavian artery occlusive syndrome; Carotid artery occlusion syndrome; Subclavian steal syndrome; Vertebral-basilar artery occlusive syndrome
Causes, incidence, and risk factorsAortic arch syndrome problems are most often associated with trauma, blood clots, or malformations that develop before birth. The arteries' defects result in abnormal blood flow to the head, neck, or arms.In children, there are multiple types of aortic arch syndromes, including:Congenital absence of a branch of the aortaIsolation of the subclavian arteriesVascular rings
SymptomsSymptoms vary according to the affected artery, but may include:Neurological changes such as:DizzinessBlurred visionWeaknessBlood pressure changesBreathing problemsNumbness of an armReduced pulseTransient ischemic attacks
TreatmentSurgery is usually required to treat the underlying cause of aortic arch syndrome.
ReferencesBraverman AC, Thompson RW, Sanchez LA. Diseases of the Aorta. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 60.Isselbacher EM. Diseases of the Aorta. In: Goldman L,Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier;2011:chap 78.