Aortic arch syndrome

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Aortic arch syndrome

Definition

Aortic arch syndrome refers to a group of signs and symptoms associated with structural abnormalities in the arteries that branch off the aortic arch (the top portion of the main artery carrying blood away from the heart.

Alternative Names

Subclavian artery occlusive syndrome; Carotid artery occlusion syndrome; Subclavian steal syndrome; Vertebral-basilar artery occlusive syndrome

Causes

The abnormalities are most often associated with atherosclerosis, trauma, blood clots, or malformations that developed before birth.

Symptoms

The arteries' defects result in abnormal blood flow to the head, neck, or arms. Symptoms vary according to the affected artery, but may include neurologic changes (such as dizziness, blurred vision, weakness, and transient ischemic attacks), blood pressure changes, reduced pulse, numbness of an arm, and others.

Treatment

Surgery is usually required to treat the underlying cause of aortic arch syndrome.

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