It is characterized by formation of abnormal blood vessels around trachea and/or esophagus. Due to compression of trachea and or esophagus child or infant may have signs of difficulty in breathing or feeding respectively. Symptoms generally occurs early in life

These rings are rare in incidence.

Vascular rings can be of different types. Most commonly seen is right aortic arch with aberrant subclavian and left ligamentum or double aortic arch (DAA).

Clinical Presentation due to vascular rings

If complete vascular ring is there then infants can have difficulty in breathing or feeding.
In cases of incomplete vascular ring in which trachea or esophagus are not completely compressed by ring then child is asymptomatic.
Infants can have cough, wheezing in chest, pneumonia like picture etc.
Choking while feeding, difficulty in swallowing etc can occur then esophagus is compressed.

Diagnosis of Vascular rings

Condition can be undiagnosed even in adulthood when symptoms are not there. But in severe cases, can be suspected by early by above mentioned symptoms.
Sometimes, ring can be associated with other complex cardiac lesions.
Diagnostic modalities which are used for making the diagnosis:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Chest X ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Barium swallow

Treatment of Vascular Ring

Only treatment for vascular rings is by open heart surgery.
There is no role of therapeutic cardiac catheterization. Medicines are used for controlling the symptoms due to ring.