Cardiac Radiography > Great Vessels > Aortic Arch

Aortic Arch

Depending on age, the ascending aorta may not be visible. The aortic arch is on the left in almost all individuals, but is found on the right in a small number (see figure below). Right aortic arch is occasionally associated with other cardiac anomalies or dysphagia. The descending aorta is just to the left of the spine shadow in patients with a left arch and usually to the right of the spine in those with a right arch.


Presence of a right aortic arch is indicated by a large bulge on the right side of the trachea (arrows) and leftward deviation of the trachea. 

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