Mild tracheal compression by aberrant innominate artery and chronic dry cough in children

Michele Ghezzi, Michela Silvestri, Oliviero Sacco, Serena Panigada, Donata Girosi, Gian Michele Magnano, Giovanni A. Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In children with aberrant innominate artery (AIA) one of the most prevalent respiratory symptom is dry cough. How frequently this mediastinal vessels anomaly, that can induce tracheal compression (TC) of different degree, may be detected in children with chronic dry cough is not known. Methods: In a 3-year retrospective study, the occurrence of mediastinal vessels abnormalities and the presence and degree of TC was evaluated in children with recurrent/chronic dry cough. Results: Vascular anomalies were detected in 68 out of the 209 children evaluated. A significant TC was detected in 54 children with AIA, in eight with right aortic arch, in four with double aortic arch but not in two with aberrant right subclavian artery. In AIA patients, TC evaluated on computed tomography scans, was mild in 47, moderate in six and severe in one. During bronchoscopy TC increased in expiration or during cough, but this finding was more pronounced in children with right aortic arch and double aortic arch in which a concomitant tracheomalacia was more evident. Comorbidities were detected in 21 AIA patients, including atopy, reversible bronchial obstruction and gastroesophageal reflux. Aortopexy was performed in eight AIA patients, while the remaining AIA patients were managed medically and showed progressive improvement with time. Conclusion: Mild TC induced by AIA can be detected in a sizeable proportion of children with recurrent/chronic dry cough. The identification of this anomaly, that may at least partially explain the origin of their symptom, may avoid further unnecessary diagnostic examinations and ineffective chronic treatments. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2016;51:286-294.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-294
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • aortic arch anomalies
  • bronchoscopy
  • mediastinal vessel abnormalities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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