Thoracic aortic aneurysm

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[edit] Discussion of Thoracic aortic aneurysm

  • Thoracic aortic aneurysm represents aneurysmal dilatation of ascending, arch, or descending thoracic aorta.
  • Aneurysm is defined as a localized or diffuse dilatation of more than 50% normal diameter of the aorta.
  • Atherosclerosis or connective tissue disorders may be contributing underlying disorders that facilitate aortic dilatation.


  • Thoracic aneurysms are classified by the portion of aorta involved: the ascending thoracic aorta, the arch, or the descending thoracic aorta. This anatomic distinction is important because the etiology, natural history, and treatment of thoracic aneurysms vary for each of these segments.
  • Aneurysms of the descending aorta are most common, followed by aneurysms of the ascending aorta, whereas arch aneurysms occur less often.
  • Descending aortic thoracic aneurysms may extend distally to involve the abdominal aorta and create a thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Thoracic aortic aneurysms are less common than abdominal aortic aneurysms.


[edit] Imaging Findings for Thoracic aortic aneurysm

Cross sectional imaging (CT, MRI) is used for defining the maximum diameter of the aneurysm and monitoring the diameter over time.

    • A diameter exceeding 4 cm is considered aneurysmal.
    • A diameter exceeding 6 cm is usually an indication for surgery.

[edit] Images

Patient #1

[edit] See Also

[edit] External Links

[edit] References for Thoracic aortic aneurysm

  • E-medicine thoracic aortic aneurysm article