Prevalence and Anatomy of Retroesophageal Major Aortopulmonary Collateral Arteries

Richard D. Mainwaring, William L. Patrick, Sergio A. Carrillo, Ali N. Ibrahimye, Ashok Muralidaran, Frank L. Hanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background Major aortopulmonary collateral arteries (MAPCAs) are the sole source of pulmonary blood flow in patients with pulmonary atresia and absent ductus arteriosus. The anatomy of MAPCAs can be highly variable, both in the number of MAPCAs supplying each lung and the anatomic origin and course of the MAPCAs. This study evaluated the prevalence and anatomy of retroesophageal MAPCAs in patients undergoing repair of pulmonary atresia/ventricular septal defect/MAPCAs. Methods This was a concurrent analysis of 68 consecutive patients (March 2013 through October 2015) undergoing a primary surgical procedure for pulmonary atresia/ventricular septal defect/MAPCAs. A detailed analysis of the MAPCA anatomy was made intraoperatively for each patient, including the total number of MAPCAs to each lung and the presence or absence of a retroesophageal course. These data were correlated with the preoperative cardiac catheterization images. Results A retroesophageal MAPCA was identified during the operation in 45 of the 68 patients (67%), all of which were located on the side opposite the arch. For the 36 patients with a left aortic arch, 77% had a retroesophageal MAPCA compared with 53% of patients with a right arch. Forty-six percent of retroesophageal MAPCAs coursed within the muscular fibers of the esophagus (intraesophageal) and were more common to the left lung than the right (72% vs 32%). A midsegment stenosis was present in 84% of the retroesophageal MAPCAs, and this was more severe when the MAPCAs were intraesophageal than when they were not (80% vs 42%). Conclusions These data demonstrate that two-thirds of patients had a retroesophageal MAPCA and that there were significant differences in prevalence and anatomy depending on the side of the aortic arch. These data provide important insights into the origin and course of retroesophageal MAPCAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-882
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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