Variations in aortic arch branching patterns- Role of genetic and geographical factors and systematic review.


Bi Shazna Shariza, Dr McLaughlin Declan

The contribution of genetic and geographical factors towards the occurrence of aortic arch branching variations (AABV) is a poorly researched area. This study systematically reviewed literature published between 2001 and 2018, pertaining to human left-sided aortic arches, to investigate the role of genetic and geographical factors on AABV. A direct link between the prevalence of AABV and geography was observed when comparing the occurrence of variations in study populations of different countries as well as different regions of the same country. Incidences of AABV were also found to be genetically dependent and evident through varying occurrences among different ethnic groups. Variations in the branching pattern of aortic arches can be associated with; trachea-oesophageal compression, neurological deficits and ischaemic problems during open surgery on the aortic arch. Therefore, prior knowledge on aortic arch variations in geographically and genetically distinct populations could assist in surgery planning and accurate diagnosis.

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