Heart and Blood Conditions

Vascular Rings Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of Vascular Rings

Most babies with vascular rings have symptoms from the pressure the rings put on their trachea and esophagus. Some children with vascular rings have no symptoms as babies. They may develop symptoms as they get older.

Pressure on the trachea can cause breathing problems, such as:

  • Loud breathing (stridor) or working hard to breathe
  • Wheezing or high-pitched cough
  • Infections in the lungs (respiratory infections) or repeated pneumonia

Breathing problems may get worse when a baby tries to feed or when an older child eats.

Pressure on the esophagus can cause feeding problems, such as:

Vascular Rings Diagnosis

To diagnose this condition, your doctor will examine your child and use a stethoscope to listen to their heart.

The doctor will ask for details about any symptoms your child has, their health history and your family health history.

Your child will need tests that provide more information. These may include chest X-rays, a CT (computed tomography) scan or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the heart and blood vessels, echocardiography, angiography, bronchoscopy (threading a camera down the throat to check the airways) and X-ray of the esophagus.

Contact Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.