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Open Access Open Badges Original article

Right sided arcus aorta as a cause of dyspnea and chronic cough

Sevket Ozkaya1*, Bilal Sengul2, Semra Hamsici2, Serhat Findik3, Unal Sahin1, Aziz Gumus1 and Halit Cinarka1

Author Affiliations

1 Rize University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Rize, Turkey

2 Samsun Chest Diseases and Thoracic Surgery Hospital, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Samsun, Turkey

3 Ondokuz Mayis University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Samsun, Turkey

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Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine 2012, 7:37  doi:10.1186/2049-6958-7-37

Published: 23 October 2012



Right sided arcus aorta (RSAA) is a rare condition that is usually asymptomatic. Patients may present with exertional dyspnea and chronic cough. A recent article suggested that RSAA should be included in the differential diagnosis of asthma, especially in patients with intractable exertional dyspnea. We aimed to present the clinical, radiologic and spirometric features of thirteen patients with RSAA observed in four years at the Rize Education and Research Hospital and Samsun Chest Diseases and Thoracic Surgery Hospital.


The characteristics of patients with RSAA, including age, gender, symptoms, radiologic and spirometric findings, were retrospectively evaluated.


A total of thirteen patients were diagnosed with RSAA. Their ages ranged from 17 to 86 years and the male to female ratio was 11:2. Seven of the patients (54%) were symptomatic. The most common symptoms were exertional dyspnea, dysphagia and chronic cough. Five patients had received treatment for asthma with bronchodilators. Spirometry showed intrathoracic tracheal obstruction in five patients.


The RSAA anomaly occurs more frequently than might be estimated from the number of patients who are detected. Patients with intractable exertional dyspnea and chronic cough should be evaluated for the RSAA anomaly by thoracic CT.

Asthma; Cough; Dyspnea; Right sided arcus aorta; Spirometry