Symptom persistence after vascular ring repair in children

Connor P. Callahan, Taylor C. Merritt, Matthew W. Canter, Pirooz Eghtesady, Peter B. Manning, Aaron M. Abarbanell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: Vascular rings are often diagnosed after evaluation for swallowing and breathing difficulties. Data regarding symptoms following vascular ring repair is sparse. We sought to determine whether symptoms persist using chart review and a survey. Methods: Sixty-three patients underwent open vascular ring repair from July 2007 to May 2018. Data regarding vascular anatomy, demographics, pre- and postoperative symptoms, and chromosomal abnormalities were collected. Freedom from reoperation, 30-day mortality, and complications were assessed. Patient families were contacted for a symptom focused survey. Results: The median age of surgical intervention was 14.4 months (IQR 5.8–34.7 months) for single aortic arches with an aberrant subclavian artery (SAA), and 5.3 months (IQR 1.3–10.1 months) for double aortic arches (DAA) (Table). Prior to surgery, all but two SAA were symptomatic. There was no operative mortality. Three patients required re-exploration for chylothorax, and three required late aortopexy. At last follow-up, 45% (18/40) SAA and 65% (15/23) DAA had post-operative symptoms. Fourteen patient families completed the symptom survey (10 SAA, 4 DAA). Five SAA had breathing and swallowing symptoms, and 3 SAA and 3 DAA had breathing difficulties. Conclusions: Open vascular ring repair remains a safe repair. However, further investigation of the persistent symptoms in these patients is merited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2317-2321
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Kommerell's diverticulum
  • Neuhauser anomaly
  • Vascular ring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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