Recurrent choking as a presenting feature of aortic arch aneurysm

Ken Hing Tan, Sun Li Chou, Shih Yu Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aortic arch aneurysm occurs more commonly in the aging population. Rapid expansion and symptomatic patients should undergo aneurysm resection regardless of size. An 87-year-old man was brought to our emergency department because of choking on food during his dinner. The patient did not have hoarseness, dysarthria, dysphagia, as well as other neurologic symptoms. He was finally found to have an aortic arch aneurysm. Swallowing is complex neuromuscular activity consisting essentially of 3 phases: oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal. The pharyngeal phase was mainly mediated by the pharyngeal plexuses of both the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves. Uncoordinated movement of the pharyngeal muscles because of a stretch of the left vagus nerve or its plexus by an enlarging aneurysm may be the possible mechanism of choking in this patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636.e3-636.e4
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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