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Changes in the Relative Displacement between the Supra-Aortic Branches with Age

      Background

      This study aimed to determine the normal ranges for the height and deflection angle of the aortic arch and the displacement distances between the supra-aortic branches in relation to age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and body surface area (BSA) in adults without aortic disease using non–contrast chest computed tomography (CT).

      Methods

      The CT scans of 700 patients were analyzed. We measured the height and deflection angle of the aortic arch based on the lower level of the pulmonary artery bifurcation. The displacement distances between the supra-aortic branches in the coronal and sagittal planes were measured, and the deflection angles between these branches were calculated. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to investigate the associations of age, sex, BMI, and BSA with these aortic arch parameters.

      Results

      The height of the aortic arch was significantly higher (74 ± 15 mm vs. 65 ± 12 mm, P < 0.001) and the left-posterior displacement distance of the left subclavian artery (LSA) to the innominate artery (IA) was greater in men than that in women. The height and deflection angle of the aortic arch increased with age. The distance by which the LSA was shifted to the left posterior of the left common carotid artery and to the left of the IA increased with age.

      Conclusions

      The normal aging process is accompanied by morphological changes in the aortic arch and relative displacement between the supra-aortic branches. Identifying these parameters could lead to a comprehensive understanding of the anatomy and morphology of the aortic arch.
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