Aberrant right vertebral artery with a retro-esophageal course

Case contributed by Craig Hacking
Diagnosis certain


Neck stabbing injury.

Patient Data

Age: 55 years
Gender: Male

The non dominant right vertebral artery arises directly from the aorta distal to the left subclavian origin and has a retro-esophageal course.

Right anterolateral neck deep laceration down to the thyroid cartilage and gas within the deep spaces of the neck are due to the penetrating neck injury. Aspirated material in the distal trachea and RMB.

Case Discussion

It is very rare for the vertebral artery to arise of the aortic arch and course behind the esophagus in the presence of a normal right subclavian origin and course. A few cases have been reported of this occurrence in the literature and obviously knowledge of this variant is important for vascular and neurosurgeons and interventional radiologists.

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