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Aberrant right subclavian artery is the most common congenital aortic arch anomaly. There are a few reports concerning the clinical manifestations and follow-up of this CHD detected by echocardiographic screening.
A total of 1737 full-term neonates, with a male-to-female ratio of 900:837, received echocardiographic screening. Neonates with or without isolated aberrant right subclavian artery were studied during infancy.
Among the 1737 cases, a total of 15 (0.86%) female-predominant neonates, with a male-to-female ratio of 6:9, had isolated aberrant right subclavian artery. They were compared with 20 age- and gender-matched normal neonates. There were no significant differences in maternal age, gestational age, or para gravity between the two groups, except for birth size (birth length- and weight-for-age percentiles, p = 0.006 and 0.045, respectively), which was smaller in the aberrant right subclavian artery group. Although there were no significant differences in developmental history, gastrointestinal, or respiratory symptoms, neonates with aberrant right subclavian artery had a higher incidence of mild developmental delay and feeding difficulty than normal infants (21 versus 0%, p = 0.061; 36 versus 20%, p = 0.264, respectively). The growth rates of body length and weight during infancy were not significantly different between the two groups.
Echocardiography can be applied as a first-line investigation in the diagnostic work-up for aberrant right subclavian artery. Neonates with aberrant right subclavian artery had a smaller size at birth, although growth rates were not significantly different from those of normal infants. This study does not support an active surgical policy for asymptomatic infants with isolated aberrant right subclavian artery. A larger study and longer follow-up of affected infants is recommended.
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