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Kommerell diverticulum

Kommerell diverticula occur in a number of anomalies of the aortic arch system. It usually refers to the bulbous configuration of the origin of an aberrant left subclavian artery in the setting of a right sided aortic arch. However, it was originally described as a diverticular outpouching at origin of an aberrant right subclavian artery with a left sided aortic arch.

Clinical presentation

Kommerell diverticulum may be asymptomatic, or cause symptoms of oesophageal or tracheal obstruction.  

Radiographic features

Plain film

A small rounded density may be seen laterally towards the left of the trachea.

Fluoroscopy: barium swallow

An impression can be seen from left side of oesophagus simulating a double aortic arch.


Typically shows bulbous enlargement of proximal subclavian artery at its origin from aortic arch, posterior to oesophagus.

History and etymology

It is named after Burckhard F Kommerell, German radiologist (1901-1990).

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