Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Double Aortic Arch—Child

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Double Aortic Arch—Child


Double aortic arch happens when a large artery called the aorta branches into right and left tubes, instead of just being one large tube. The two tubes can circle around and press the airways and the tube that brings food from the mouth to the stomach (esophagus).

Heart Chambers and Valves.

heart anatomyhttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=75857585si55551150.jpgsi55551150.jpgNULLjpgsi55551150.jpgNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\si55551150.jpgNULL82NULL2008-12-103004007585_619534250350Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Blood Flow Through the Heart.

http://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=24472447si55551157.jpgBlood Flow Through the HeartNULLjpgBlood Flow Through the HeartNULL\\filer01\Intellect\images\si55551157.jpgCopyright © 2002 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.49NULL2002-10-012553912447_619534Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Double aortic arch is a birth defect. The cause is not known.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for double aortic arch are not well known.


A baby may have:

  • Problems breathing
  • Poor feeding, such as choking
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Vomiting


Double aortic arch may be noticed in infancy, but it is often found later.

The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.

Pictures may be taken of your child’s body. This can be done with:


Surgery can be done to tie off and close one of the extra branches. Symptoms may get better right away or over time.

Children will need lifelong monitoring by a doctor who treats the heart.


There are no known guidelines to prevent this double aortic arch.





  • Double aortic arch. Cove Point Foundation—Johns Hopkins University website. Available at: http://www.pted.org/?id=doubleaortic1.
  • Vascular rings and slings. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/vascular-rings-and-slings.


  • Kari Kuenn, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.