The aorta is the main blood vessel that carries oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the organs of the body. After it leaves the heart it ascends in the chest to give off blood vessels to the arms and head, then arches downward towards the lower half of the body.
Interrupted Aortic Arch (IAA) is the absence or discontinuation of a portion of the aortic arch.
Interrupted Aortic Arch is thought to be a result of faulty development of the aortic arch system during the fifth to seventh week of foetal development. This defect is almost always associated with a large ventricular septal defect (VSD).
Patients with Interrupted Aortic Arch often have a chromosomal abnormality called Di George syndrome. In addition to Interrupted Aortic Arch, patients with Di George syndrome may have problems with low calcium, developmental delay, and immune system abnormalities.