Anatomical Study of Healthy Aortic Arches

Elie Girsowicz, Yannick Georg, François Lefebvre, Anne Lejay, Fabien Thaveau, Catherine Roy, Mickael Ohana, Nabil Chakfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background With the steady increase of endovascular procedures involving the aortic arch (AA), an actual depiction of its anatomy has become mandatory. It has also become necessary to evaluate the natural evolution of the AA morphology as part of the evaluation of endovascular devices durability. The objective of this study was to perform a morphological and anatomical study of the AA and of the supra aortic trunks (SAT) in healthy patients, with an evaluation of their evolution with time, with a specific orientation applied to endovascular therapies of the AA. Methods Sixty-one patients (31 men, mean age 50.8 [18–82]) with a normal anatomy were included in the study. Measurements included the diameters of the AA and SAT in 17 locations, their distance and angulation based on computed tomography angiography data. Statistical analysis focused on descriptive statistics, differences between genders, as well as correlations with age. Results Aortic diameters (mean ± SD) were 29.5 ± 3.9 mm at the ascending aorta, 28.6 ± 3.9 mm at the innominate artery (IA), 27.1 ± 3.2 mm at the left common carotid artery (LCCA), 25.3 ± 3.0 mm at the left subclavian artery (LSCA), 23.9 ± 3.3 mm at the descending aorta. Mean angulation of the AA was 82° (95% confidence interval [CI]: 78.95–85.19°), mean angulation between LSCA/LCCA was −5.7° (95% CI: −0.9 to 18.7°) and −1.8° (95% CI: 5.4–26.4°) between LCCA/IA. Mean distance between the LSCA and the LCCA was 14.3 mm (95% CI: 13–15.6 mm) and 21.8 mm (95% CI: 20.3–23.4 mm) between LCCA and IA. All diameters of the AA increased with age (P < 0.05). Men had diameters statistically (P < 0.05) greater than women except at the LCCA ostium level. A statistically significant increase of the distances between the LSCA and the LCCA, between the LSCA and the IA and between the IA and the LCCA was found with age, P = 0.027, <0.01 and 0.012 respectively. Conclusions This study allows obtaining accurate information of the AA and the SAT anatomy. It enabled to obtain a better understanding of the three-dimensional aspects of the AA, confirmed the variability and heterogeneity of the SAT disposition, and discussed the principles of vascular aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
StatePublished - Oct 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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