Foreign body sensation: A rare case of dysphagia lusoria in a healthy female

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Abstract

Dysphagia lusoria is a rare disease due to an aberrant right subclavian artery that passes posteriorly between the esophagus and the spine. David Bayford coined the term itself meaning “freak or jest of nature” in 1761 describing a case in which the patient had long term dysphagia that eventually led to death. Most cases of dysphagia are due to an aberrant right subclavian artery running posterior to and causing esophageal compression, but only 20-40% of aberrant arteries actually lead to trachea-esophageal symptoms, including dysphagia. The majority of patients with an aberrant right subclavian artery are asymptomatic. Treatment for dysphagia lusoria varies depending on the severity of the symptoms. Dietary modifications are recommended in patients with mild to moderate symptoms while vascular reconstruction is necessary for patients with severe symptoms. We present a 44-year-old female who was diagnosed with dysphagia lusoria due to a right-sided aortic arch and aberrant left subclavian artery (ALSA) with aneurysmal dilation. Right aortic arch with ALSA is an uncommon arch anomaly, and only occurs in about 0.05% of the population. Prior case reports of dysphagia lusoria differ in that they did not report patients with an uncommon presentation of dysphagia lusoria with aneurysmal dilatation nor was the patient diagnosed in the emergency department.

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