Aortic arch vessel disease and rationale for echocardiographic screening

William R. Ruegg, Frederic J. Vandis, Howard J. Feldman, Kartik Mani, Gary Bronstein, Justin D. Moon, Jeannette Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Atherosclerosis of the proximal branches of the aortic arch has compelling clinical implications that warrant the application of direct noninvasive detection of the disease. The prevalence of aortic arch vessel disease in an aging and at-risk community and clinical population has been underreported and undertreated despite an associated increase of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Intrathoracic duplex imaging has been validated as an accurate noninvasive tool to detect, characterize, and follow native aortic arch vessel disease and its sequelae and correction. Such duplex techniques are easily integrated into routine echocardiography with focused training and minimal time investment in the examination. A paucity of available resources exists across disciplines regarding ultrasonographic investigation of these supra-aortic trunk vessels, including textbooks, journal articles, seminars, and manuals. This review has been compiled to familiarize physicians and sonographers with the relevant anatomy, pathophysiology, treatment, and diagnostic duplex surveillance of aortic arch vessel disease. Illustrative cases along with clinical rationale are discussed with the intent to facilitate the integration of arch vessel duplex imaging into the scope and practice of echocardiography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-125
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Aortic arch
  • Aortic arch vessel disease
  • Echocardiography
  • Intrathoracic duplex sonography
  • Subclavian steal syndrome


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