J Vasc Surg 2019 Nov 7. Epub 2019 Nov 7.
Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Electronic address:
Objective: The Kommerell diverticulum (KD) is an extremely rare developmental abnormality of the aorta related to an aberrant subclavian artery (ASCA). The objective of our study was to review the natural history of KD and ASCA using our single-center experience in diagnosing and managing KD and ASCA.
Methods: A retrospective review of the Yale radiological database from January 1999 to December 2016 was performed. Only patients with KD/ASCA and a computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest were selected for review. The primary goal was to examine the natural history of KD and ASCA and the secondary goals were to review the management and outcomes of those patients treated for KD and ASCA.
Results: There were 75 patients with KD/ASCA identified, with a mean age of 63 ± 19 years; 49 were female (65%). On CT scans, left- and right-sided aortas were present in 47 (63%) and 28 (37%) patients. A right ASCA or a left ASCA were present in 47 (63%) and 28 (37%) patients. Six patients were symptomatic on presentation. Symptoms included dysphagia, chest or back pain, and emboli to the fingers. The mean KD diameter was 21.8 ± 6.0 mm and the distance to the opposite aortic wall (DAW) was 48.3 ± 10.8 mm. Sixty-six patients were followed for a mean of 31.7 ± 32.5 months. One patient ruptured without repair. Nine patients underwent operative intervention, including eight open and one endovascular repair. Complications from operative intervention included ischemic stroke with hemorrhagic transformation, deep vein thrombosis and pneumonia. The mean growth rate for KD and DAW was 1.45 ± 0.39 mm/year and 2.29 ± 0.47 mm/year, respectively. On multivariable regression analysis, hypertension was a predictor of growth of DAW (P = .03).
Conclusions: KD is uncommon and shows a female predominance. The diverticulum grows, albeit slowly (KD and DAW growth rates of 1.45 ± 0.39 mm/year and 2.29 ± 0.47 mm/year). Most patients are asymptomatic, but dysphagia, chest/back pain, and distal emboli may occur. Rupture is rare. Symptomatic patients should be operated. Asymptomatic patients can be followed with serial CT scans.