Innominate artery compression of the trachea in infants

Dwight T. Jones, Richard A. Jonas, Gerald B. Healy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Innominate artery compression of the trachea in infants can cause severe biphasic stridor, cyanosis, and respiratory arrest. These episodes are sometimes referred to as “dying spells.” In the past, aortopexy has been used for the treatment of this problem, but since many have questioned its success, its use has not been popularized or generally accepted. Over the past 4 years, 12 children have been successfully treated for innominate artery compression of the trachea with aortopexy. These children all initially presented with significant respiratory and/or feeding difficulties. Preoperative and postoperative videos were obtained to document the degree of tracheal compression and/or lumen size before and after surgery. Since treatment, all patients have been without further feeding problems or cyanosis. When performed in selected patients, aortopexy is successful in relieving tracheal obstruction from innominate artery compression. This article discusses proper patient selection, operative technique, and follow-up care. The management of compression in patients with less severe symptoms will also be addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-350
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • aortopexy
  • apnea
  • cyanosis
  • feeding difficulties
  • infant
  • innominate artery compression
  • respiratory arrest
  • stridor
  • trachea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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