Double aortic arch is an abnormal formation of the aorta -- the large artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The aorta splits into two vessels instead of one soon after it leaves the heart and surround the esophagus (swallowing tube) and trachea (breathing tube). The two branches eventually come back together.
Review Date 2/22/2018
Updated by: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.