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A retroesophageal right subclavian artery, arising from the arch of the aorta as the terminal branch and passing dorsal to the esophagus, was found in five (1.2%) of 428 bodies donated for student dissection at Kumamoto University between 1993 and 2008. The presence of a retroesophageal right subclavian artery has been generally explained to be caused by the persistence of the normally eliminated part of the right dorsal aorta caudal to the seventh intersegmental artery and the disappearance of the normally patent right fourth aortic arch and the part of the right dorsal aorta cranial to the seventh intersegmental artery during the developmental process. However, the parts which remain or disappear are different in each case. With the aim of determining the portions eliminated or persisting and thereby gaining an understanding of the developmental process of the retroesophageal right subclavian artery in each instance, we made schematic diagrams showing the various components of the embryonic aortic arch complex as the prototype just before the anomaly occurred. Based on these diagrams, we conclude that immediately preceding the disappearance of the distal part of the right dorsal aorta and the dorsal part of the right sixth aortic arch, the third intersegmental artery was situated opposite to the fourth aortic arch and the seventh intersegmental artery was situated cranial to the point of junction of the right and left dorsal aortae.
Department of Anatomy, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, 1-1-1 Honjo, Kumamoto, 860-8556, Japan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Anatomical science international / Japanese Association of Anatomists
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