Journal of cardiovascular development and disease, Volume 8, Issue 3, 26 4 2021 The Clinical Spectrum of Kommerell's Diverticulum in Adults with a Right-Sided Aortic Arch: A Case Series and Literature Overview. van Rosendael PJ, Stöger JL, Kiès P, Vliegen HW, Hazekamp MG, Koolbergen DR, Lamb HJ, Jongbloed MRM, Egorova AD


Kommerell's diverticulum is a rare vascular anomaly characterized as an outpouch at the onset of an aberrant subclavian artery. In the variant of a right-sided aortic arch, the trachea and esophagus are enclosed dorsally by the arch. In the configuration of an aberrant left subclavian artery, a Kommerell's diverticulum and persisting ductus arteriosus or ductal ligament enclose the lateral side, forming a vascular ring which may result in (symptomatic) esophageal or tracheal compression. Spontaneous rupture of an aneurysmatic Kommerell's diverticulum has also been reported. Due to the rarity of this condition and underreporting in the literature, the clinical implications of a Kommerell's diverticulum are not well defined.

Case summary

We describe seven consecutive adult patients with a right-sided aortic arch and an aberrant course of the left subclavian artery (arteria lusoria), and a Kommerell's diverticulum, diagnosed in our tertiary hospital. One patient had severe symptoms related to the Kommerell's diverticulum and underwent surgical repair. In total, two of the patients experienced mild non-limiting dyspnea complaints and in four patients the Kommerell's diverticulum was incidentally documented on a computed tomography (CT) scan acquired for a different indication. The size of the Kommerell's diverticulum ranged from 19 × 21 mm to 30 × 29 mm. In the six patients that did not undergo surgery, a strategy of periodic follow-up with structural imaging was pursued. No significant growth of the Kommerell's diverticulum was observed and none of the patients experienced an acute aortic syndrome to date.


Kommerell's diverticulum in the setting of a right-sided aortic arch with an aberrant left subclavian artery is frequently associated with tracheal and esophageal compression and this may result in a varying range of symptoms. Guidelines on management of Kommerell's diverticulum are currently lacking. This case series and literature overview suggests that serial follow-up is warranted in adult patients with a Kommerell's diverticulum with small dimensions and no symptoms, however, that surgical intervention should be considered when patients become symptomatic or when the diameter exceeds 30 mm in the absence of symptoms.

Keywords: Right Sided Aortic Arch, Tracheal Compression, Kommerell’s Diverticulum, Arteria Lusoria, Esophageal Compression, Anomalous Left Subclavian Artery

J Cardiovasc Dev Dis. 2021 2;8(3)