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Congenital malformations of the aorta are comparatively rare. Quain divides such cases into six classes, viz.: 1, variations in position and extent; 2, variations of septum; 3, variations of stems; 4, variations of arch; 5, variations of descending portion and ductus arteriosus, and 6, variations in number and position of branches. The most uncommon of all, are those of the fourth variety, under which the double arch will be described.
In mammals the aorta normally passes to the left side of vertebral column, arching over the root of the left lung; in birds it passes to the right; and in reptiles it divides and passes to both sides. In this instance the arch presents a reproduction of the reptilian arrangement.
This specimen was taken from a fairly well nourished, white, male subject, in the anatomic laboratory of Rush Medical College. Previous condition and cause of death is unknown. No abnormalities
SHAW DL. AN AORTA WITH A DOUBLE ARCH. JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(12):538–540. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440120012002d
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