Asthma-like symptoms: is it always a pulmonary issue?

Piloni, Davide; Tirelli, Claudio; Domenica, Rita D.; Conio, Valentina; Grosso, Amelia; Ronzoni, Vanessa; Antonacci, Filippo; Totaro, Pasquale; Corsico, Angelo G.

Double aortic arch is a rare congenital and complete vascular ring around trachea and esophagus. It is usually diagnosed during infancy. The symptoms are generally related to respiratory and gastroesophageal tracts.

Case presentation
A 20-year-old female patient was referred to our outpatient clinic for persistent dry cough. She had a history of an episode of inhalation of food bolus as an infant and recurrent bronchitis, anorexia and allergic bronchial asthma since the childhood. Since the beginning, an intrathoracic obstruction was suspected at pulmonary function tests. After 1 month of complete asthma treatment, the cough was unchanged and the spirometry confirmed the presence of an intrathoracic obstruction. Then, she underwent a chest CT with contrast medium, a contrast transthoracic echocardiography, a fiberbronchoscopy and an esophageal radiography with contrast medium. The final diagnosis was made and a double aortic arch was found.

A careful observation of the flow/volume curve should always be guaranteed and the presence of congenital vascular anomalies should be suspected in case of difficult-to-treat asthma.


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Also Published In

Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine

More About This Work

Academic Units
Published Here
October 1, 2018


Double aortic arch, Central airway, Spirometry, Persistent cough