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A 46-year-old member asked:

What is an aortic aneurysm?

4 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Francis Uricchio
Cardiology 38 years experience
Large aorta: An aortic aneurysm is an aorta which is larger than it should be. This is typically due weakness of the walls of the aorta. This weakness can be secondary to degenerative change, congenital (born with it) abnormalities of the wall of the aorta, or trauma.
Dr. Mario Matos-Cruz
Thoracic Surgery 39 years experience
Weak wall: The aorta is a living pipe. It has 3 layers, the inner layer or intima, the middle layer or media were some muscle like cells dwell and the adventitia rich in collagen fibers. The process of arteriosclerosis may result in slow death of the media which then gets replaced by collagen scar. The pressure inside the aorta and the wall weakness will result in dilatation of the aorta and it could burst.
Dr. Joshua Moss
Cardiac Electrophysiology 18 years experience
The aorta: The aorta is the large, main artery that carries blood from the heart. An aneurysm (a portion that dilates or expands to a larger than normal diameter) can occur anywhere along its length, from where it emerges from the heart in the chest (thoracic aortic aneurysm) to where it travels through the abdomen & splits into the iliac arteries (abdominal aortic aneurysm, or aaa) - or anywhere between.
Dr. Craig Carter
Thoracic Surgery 40 years experience
Follows the aorta: The aorta starts at the heart (in the chest) extends to the neck, comes down the chest, into the abdomen and divides at the level of the belly button. Most aortic aneurysms are located in the abdomen.

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A 31-year-old member asked:

What could lead to an aortic aneurysm?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Timothy Wu
Vascular Surgery 18 years experience
Aortic Aneurysms: It is not entirely clear exactly what causes aortic aneurysms, but we know of a few risk factors, probably the most significant of which is smoking. Other risk factors include atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. There is also a hereditary component, so these can run in families. There are also genetic syndromes such as Marfan's or ehlers-danlos which are associated. See a vascular surgeon.
A 46-year-old member asked:

Aortic aneurysm same as dissection?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. George T Tsai
General Surgery 27 years experience
No: Aneurysm is the dilation of your artery that can rupture if it gets too big overtime. A dissection is when the layers of your artery separate - generally associated with traumatic injuries (blunt or sharp), it is usually an acute event. Sometimes you can see dissection when the aneurysm starts to leak. Make friend with a vascular surgeon.
Dr. Steven Guyton
Thoracic Surgery 46 years experience
Ascending aortic dissection require open heart surgery with a heart-lung machine. Immediate evaluation by a cardiac surgeon is needed.
Jan 4, 2013
CA
A 39-year-old member asked:

What is an acute aortic aneurysm?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Francis Uricchio
Cardiology 38 years experience
Dilated aorta: An aortic aneurysm is an aorta which is larger than it is supposed to be. "acute" refers to the sudden onset of symptoms. The aneurysm can cause pain by suddenly enlarging, encroaching on surrounding parts of the chest or abdomen, or rupturing.
A 27-year-old member asked:

What is an infrarenal aortic aneurysm?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Francis Uricchio
Cardiology 38 years experience
Below the kidneys: An infrarenal aortic aneurysm is a dilation of the aorta below the renal (kidney) arteries. This section of the aorta is located in the abdomen.
A 42-year-old member asked:

What are causes of an aortic aneurysm?

8 doctor answers15 doctors weighed in
Dr. Laura Pak
Vascular Surgery 28 years experience
Several things: About 5% of men over the age of 65 have abdominal aortic aneurysms. Risk factors include: increasing age, male sex, family history of aneurysm (may increase your risk 4-fold), hypertension, and history of smoking. Dissecting aneurysms can be caused by localized damage to to the artery from hypertension or trauma (deceleration or sheering-type injury) or catheter injury from an angiogram.

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Last updated May 17, 2018

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