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Double aortic arch

Double aortic arch

Double aortic arch is an abnormal formation of the aorta -- the large artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The aorta splits into two vessels instead of one soon after it leaves the heart and surround the esophagus (swallowing tube) and trachea (breathing tube). The two branches eventually come back together.

Update Date: 2/7/2012

Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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