Suprasternal Aortic Arch Ultrasound View

Suprasternal ultrasound imaging of the aortic arch permits visualization of the great vessels in addition to the aortic arch’s diameter, presence of pathology (e.g., aneurysm, dissection flap), and retrograde flow as seen with aortic valve insufficiency.

Suprasternal view showing the aortic arch, innominate (“brachiocephalic”) artery, left common carotid (LCC) artery, left subclavian artery (LSA), and descending thoracic aorta (DTA).

After extending the patient’s neck, I’ll place a phased-array ultrasound probe in the suprasternal notch with the probe indicator obliquely facing the patient’s left scapula to align the beam with the aorta’s long axis. As I direct the ultrasound beam leftward, I’m more likely to see the distal arch and descending thoracic aorta (DTA). It follows that a rightward tilt will bring the distal ascending aorta and proximal arch into view.

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