Two Patients With Difficulty in Swallowing due to Dysphagia Lusoria

Onyinye Ugonabo, Mujtaba Mohamed, Wesam Frandah, Ahmed Sherif


Dysphagia lusoria (DL) is a rare clinical entity caused by compression of the esophagus by an aberrant right subclavian artery. It is coined from the Latin word meaning freak or jest of nature, with an estimated prevalence of approximately 0.5%. Before the term DL was known, the artery abnormality was referred to as luxus nature. Most patients are asymptomatic. In 30-40% of cases, DL results in tracheoesophageal symptoms like dysphagia to solid foods, chest pain, cough, and Horners syndrome. Symptoms presenting later in life have been linked to arteriosclerosis and diminishing esophageal compliance resulting in compression. Another reason why people become symptomatic is due to Kommerells diverticulum, a disorder that was first described by Kommerell, a German radiologist in 1936. It is also known as lusoria diverticulum, remnant diverticulum or lusoria root. This disorder represents a remnant of the left dorsal arch which forms a vascular ring behind the esophagus, leading to external compression. The key to diagnosis of DL is a barium esophagogram which may show extrinsic compression. Computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging can be used for definite delineation of the vascular anatomy. Treatment approach is dietary modification or surgical intervention for unresponsive cases. Here, we present cases of dysphagia in two middle-aged women caused by compression effect on the esophagus by an aberrant right subclavian artery who did not respond to dietary modification.

J Med Cases. 2022;13(7):313-317


Dysphagia lusoria; Difficulty in swallowing; Aberrant right subclavian artery; CT; MRI

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