Predictive value of ultrasound diagnosis of aberrant right subclavian artery with non-recurrent laryngeal nerve
Qin Ye 1
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Union Hospital of Fujian Medical University, China
Department of Vessels and Thyroid Surgery, Union Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350001, Fujian Province, China
Department of Radiology, Union Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350001, Fujian Province, China
Submission date: 2019-09-06
Final revision date: 2019-11-13
Acceptance date: 2019-11-28
Online publication date: 2020-09-14
This study aims to evaluate the predictive value of color Doppler ultrasound for the diagnosis of aberrant right subclavian artery (ARSA) with a co-occurring non-recurrent right laryngeal nerve (NRLN).

Material and methods:
In the present study, 58 patients with ARSA (ARSA group) and 1,280 patients without ARSA (controls) were diagnosed by ultrasonography. In addition, 32 patients with ARSA (ARSA operation group) and controls underwent thyroidectomy with surgical exploration with or without NRLN. Then, the incidence of NRLN was analyzed. The right common carotid artery (RCCA) and right subclavian artery (RSA) trends were observed by ultrasound, and classified into two types: RCCA and RSA originating from the innominate artery (IA) (type I), and IA could not be detected (type II).

A total of 32 cases of NRLN were found in the ARSA operation group, but no case was found in controls, and the difference was statistically significant (p = 0.0006). The difference in the constituent ratio of type I and type II was statistically significant between the ARSA group and controls (p = 0.0002). That is, the IA could not be detected in the ARSA group, which was accompanied by the RCCA that originated from the aortic arch, while the IA was detected in most patients in the control group at the level of the sternoclavicular joints.

Aberrant right subclavian artery can be rapidly detected by ultra­sonography. Aberrant right subclavian artery occurs when the RCCA originates from the aortic arch during detection. Patients with ARSA sometimes have co-occurring NRLN. Hence, vigilance in protecting the NRLN is needed during an operation.