European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 20 - Number 2
Eur J Anat, 20 (2): 137-141 (2016)

Anatomic variations of the aortic arch depicted on 444 CT angiographies

Gabriel Prada1, Ana M. Granados2, Juan S. Calle1, Sara Y. Rodríguez1, Gloria P. Baena3

1Universidad ICESI, Cali, Colombia, 2Fundación Valle del Lili, Cali, Colombia, 3Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia

ABSTRACT With a view to describing the different anatomic variations of aortic arch branching, their prevalence, the demographic characteristics of the sample, and to propose a new classification for aortic arch branching patterns, 460 thoracic computed tomography angiographies (CTA) with 3D reconstruction were reviewed from January 2012 to December 2014. A total of 444 subjects were included in the study. Of those, 153 (34.4%) were male. Anatomic variations were found in 178 (40.1%) subjects. Prevalence by type of aortic arch (AA) branching pattern were found as follows: Type 1 or “Normal branching”: Brachiocephalic trunk (BT), left common carotid artery (LCC), left subclavian artery (LS), in this order, was 59.9% (266/444 subjects); Type 2 or “Bovine arch”: BT and LCC arising from the AA in a common trunk, was 27.9% (124/444 subjects); Type 3: LCC originating separately from the BT, was 9.9% (44/444 subjects); Type 4, left vertebral artery arising from the AA, was 2.2% (10/444 subjects). The prevalence of anatomic variations was higher in females than in males (42.3% versus 35.9%). This is the largest study of aortic arch anatomic variations in a South American population. These anatomic variants are not rare and should be addressed before a surgical or interventional procedure that involves the head, neck, thorax and/or upper limbs.

Keywords: Aorta, Aortic arch, Aortic morphology, Anatomic variation, Multidetector computed tomography

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)