Characterization of Aortic Arch Branches in a Colombian Population Sample. A Study with Autopsy Material

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Néstor Eduardo Herrera Ortiz; Luis Ernesto Ballesteros Acuña & Pedro Luis Forero Porras


The variability of the aortic arch and its emergent branches have implications in the surgical approaches of the thorax and neck, and possibly in the development of the atheromatous processes located at that level and the cerebrovascular accidents. We evaluated 122 aortic arches from adult individuals of both sexes obtained as autopsy material. We identified the general configuration of the emergence of the collateral branches of the arcs and determined the morphometry of its components with electronic measurement. We observed the usual configuration (type A) in 87 arches (71.3%); a brachio-bicarotid trunk (type B) in 21 anatomical specimens (17.2%) and in 10 cases (8.2%) the left vertebral artery originated directly from the aortic arch (type C); 4 specimens (3.3%) presented atypical emergency in the branches. The caliber of the aorta at the point prior to the emergence of its branches and just after casting his last side was 20.1mm (DS 3.19) and 17.2mm (DS 2.57) respectively, with a decrease of 14.5%. The caliber of the subclavian arteries (7.7mm, SD 1.1) was significantly higher (P=0.0001) than of the carotid arteries (64mm, SD 0.78). The diameter of the carotid arteries both right and left were 6.5mm (DS 0.81) and 6.3mm (DS 0.75) respectively. The right subclavian artery presented higher caliber than the left (7.9mm, DS 1.09; 7.6mm, DS 1.12) without significant statistical difference (P=0.0801). The difference between the origin of the brachiocephalic trunk and the left subclavian artery was 32.8 (DS 6.16); the brachiocephalic trunk length was 30.2mm ± 5.27. It highlights the high frequency of arches with emergency of two and four branches. The calibers of the branches are smaller than those reported in the literature.

KEY WORDS: Aortic arch; Brachiocephalic trunk; Carotid artery; Subclavian artery; Vertebral artery.

How to cite this article

HERRERA, N. E.; BALLESTEROS, L. E. & FORERO, P. L. Characterization of aortic arch branches in a Colombian population sample. A study with autopsy material. Int. J. Morphol., 30(1):49-55, 2012.