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Management of pulmonary artery sling (anomalous left pulmonary artery arising from right pulmonary artery): a conservative approach.
  1. P D Phelan,
  2. A W Venables


    An anomalous left pulmonary artery arising from a right pulmonary artery and passing between the trachea and oesophagus was seen in seven patients over a period of 20 years. All of them had main airway obstruction. Surgical division and re-anastomosis of the anomalous artery in front of the trachea produced an unsatisfactory result in the first two patients. The only surgical procedure undertaken in the subsequent five patients was division of a ligamentum arteriosum; this formed part of a compressing ring in one patient. Three patients, one of whom had associated tracheobronchial stenosis, became completely asymptomatic. Two others, both with tracheobronchial stenosis, still have symptoms; the older has shown considerable improvement, while the younger is only 7 months old. It is suggested that a more conservative approach to the management of this anomaly is justified. In patients with associated tracheobronchial stenosis, symptoms are most probably the result of that anomaly. Surgical division of the anomalous artery is unlikely to be beneficial, and death from postoperative complications frequently occurs. Surgical division of the anomalous artery in patients with extrinsic tracheal compression should be considered only if life is threatened, as spontaneous improvement can be anticipated. Recent advances in respiratory care should assist in the conservative management of distressed infants.

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