Here is a new case from my collection to test your ability to see and your knowledge-
As in previous cases three questions:
- Where is the abnormality?
- What could it be?
- What would you do?
Click here for the answer
The PA projection shows a double density at the aortic Arch and the lateral an abnormal contour of the aorta behind the trachea.
These images suggest several possibilities:
- Middle mediastinal pathology such as tumours including esophageal, and especially adenopathy.
- Abnormality of the aortic wall or the morphology of the aorta.
As most of you suggested a contrast CT is necessary to make a proper diagnosis.
The contrast CT showed a kink in the aorta at the level of the ligamentum arteriosum (arrows), but no signs of coarctation or mediastinal tumour.
This finding is the typical sign of Pseudocoarctation as Dr Doukopoulou mentioned.
Pseudocoarctation of the aorta is an isolated anomaly that consist of a “twist of the descending aorta at the level of the ligamentum arteriosum. It is not associated with gradient differences in intra-aortic pressure and is usually asymptomatic. Rarely aneurysmal dilatation has been reported and also rarely cardiac anomalies have been found. This entity is not treated, but may give rise to some confusion, especially with aortic coarctation where there is associated symptomatology, pressure gradients, collateral circulation and significant changes of caliber in the aorta before and after the point of stenosis.
Aside from the classical kink of the aorta other findings may be associated such as a high aortic knob above the clavicle.
Points to take away:
- Look at the aortic contour. Mediastinal pathology may be hiding there, but always think first about the vessels. Solve it with a contrast CT.
- Gain the lateral radiograph helps locating the pathology.