Doctor insights on:
Does An Aortic Aneurysm Show Up On A Routine Echocardiogram
"Aneurysm" has scary implications for many people. It just means an enlargement of an artery. The problem is that when arteries (including the aorta) get too large, their walls become weak and prone to tear (dissection) or rupture. If this happens in the aorta it can be a catastrophe. Management of aortic aneurysms depends on where it is, how big, whether it's growing, ...Read more
Can an echocardiogram find an aneurysm? I’m a 56 yr old man and my father died from an aortic aneurysm at 54. My doctor wants to do an echocardiogram. Do you think he’s looking for an aneurysm?
Aortic aneurysm: Only an ascending aortic aneurysm (one that comes right of the top of your hear) could be detected by echocardiogram. If an abdomimal aneurysm (descending aortic aneurysm or aaa) is what your father died of, an ultrasound of the abdomen or even a ct of the abdomen would detect that. ...Read more
No but its not rare: Abdominal aortic aneurysms are more common than thoracic. An aneurysm is defined as an enlargement of the aorta 1.5 x the normal diameter. The incidence is around 37 per 100, 000 patient yrs. There is a 3% prevalence in those over 50 yrs old. Male to female ratio of 9 to 1. Risk factors hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, family history and age. ...Read more
Are there warning signs for an aortic aneurysm? Any ways to prevent one? Is there an exam that shows if you are susceptible to one?
Positive family history,
marfans or connective tissue disease,
no absolute predictors, but good accurate exams and imaging are available.
Aneurysm can affect any part of the aorta - chest, abdomen pelvis and any named vessel!
so full history and exams are relevant. ...Read more
Burst aneurysm in grandpa's leg at age 75. Dr just found aortic aneurysm at 87. Is this common at these ages or suggestive of ehlers danlos?
Very Late sign: Since the abdominal aorta is in the retroperitoneum, bleeding most often occurs into the space near the kidneys. Early symptoms are abdominal, back or flank pain. It is more common to have bruising of the flanks (grey turner's sign). It is possible for the blood to track all the way up to the umbilicus, but this would be a pretty late sign. Hopefully you would be in the or by then! ...Read more
May or maynot: Depending on the x-ray and the amount of radiation etc, it may or may no show on a regular x-ray. If concerned, let your dr. Know and there are more definitive tests to assess for aneurysms than a routine x-ray of the thoracic back area. ...Read more
Can I exercise with aortic aneurysm? My father is in his 70's and had a slight aortic aneurysm. He wants to start exercising in the gym, but I'm concerned it may be dangerous. Are there any particular machines or exercises he should avoid?
Your: Your father should avoid activities that raise the blood pressure excessively. Heavy weight lifting should be avoided at all costs, and he should focus on light aerobic activity such as briskly walking on a treadmill. A good rule of thumb is to exercise just enough to break a light sweat while maintaining the ability to carry on a conversation. I would recommend that he have an exercise stress test with a cardiologist to assess his blood pressure response to exercise and to help develop an exercise prescription. Any chest, back or abdominal pain or pressure with exercise should be taken very seriously and prompt immediate medical attention. ...Read more
Marfan's?: Repair when diameter 4.5cm or greater if bicuspid aortic valve or marfan's, ehrles danlos, with or w/o aortic insufficiency. Otherwise 6cm. Your cardiac surgeon is the one that can advise you on the timing of your repair, earlier repair may be indicated depending on anatomy and sinus of valsalva size. ...Read more
Size: What is the size and location. Repair advised if it grows over 0.5cm/6mo and diameter twice size of native aorta or 5+cm in diameter. It is unusual for a person your age to have an aortic aneurysm that needs repair but I have had several patients that I had to do coronary bypass in preparation for aaarepair surgery. R/o collagen disorder. Access arteriosclerosis, quit smoking, obesity, diabetes. ...Read more
Yes: Though rare, there are certain genetic defects which cause a weakening in the walls of arteries including the aorta which can lead to aneurysms in younger patients. ...Read more
At around 5cm: It needs to be followed up with ultrasound every 6 months. When it grows too fast or has reached 5cm then it needs to be considered for repair ...Read more
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. ...Read more
Arteriosclerosis: Cigarrette smoking accelerates the process of arteriosclerosis which in turn results in atheroma formation with its multiple consequences depending on location. In the aorta it results in cystic medial necrosis leading to aneurysmal dilatation or the opposite, arteriosclerosis obliterans. ...Read more
It bursts: The wall of the aorta tears because of increased pressure from the expanding aneurysm. Ruptures can be "contained, " with the bleeding confined by the lining of the abdominal cavity, or they can be "free ruptures, " when the bleeding occurs into the abdominal cavity. The second type is more deadly. Mortality with ruptured aneurysms is 50-90%. As many as 50% of people die before reaching the hospital. ...Read more
No: Be careful if you have an AAA not to lift heavy weights. ...Read more
It depends: It depends on your overall health. Typically if the aneurysm is larger than 5 cm the risk of rupture is fairly high about 3-15%. Greater than 6cm about 10-20%. If successfully repaired then your life expectancy returns to near normal. Decision to operate depends on the aortic size and the estimated risk of surgery. ...Read more
Not sure.: It is not a particular equipment that is key to rupture of an aortic aneurysm. Rupture can happen even when asleep or at rest. On the other hand, any activity, whether physical or emotional, that suddenly raises blood pressure and heart rate may predispose to rupture. I trust your judgement. Moderation is key. ...Read more
Surgery or stent: Some aortic aneurysms occur in the chest. More often, aneurysms occur in the belly. Depending on the anatomy, some of the aneurysms can be surgically repaired and others can be repaired with a stent graft. Surgical repair involves excision and replacement of the aneurysmal segment. A stent graft is a percutaneous procedure. ...Read more
Tear of the aorta: The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body running from the heart to the top of the pelvis. It has a smooth lining and a muscular wall. A dissection of the aorta is a tear of the lining of the aorta allowing blood to pass between the lining and the wall which can cause problems in blood flow and in some cases can be life-threatening. Acute aortic dissection typically produces sharp sever. ...Read more
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