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It's Topic Tuesday

Good morning everyone! We hope your week has been getting off to a great start so far.

Today we will be going over surveillance of aortic aneurysms.

To review, an aneurysm is a bulge or ballooned area within the wall of a blood vessel that causes that area of the vessel to stretch to a size larger than its normal width. For aortic aneurysms, if the diameter of the aneurysm is greater than 1.5 times the size of a normal aorta, it is identified as an aneurysm.

In an aneurysm, the vessel loses its strength to accommodate different blood volumes. This leads to higher risk of a dissection or rupture, which can cause life threatening bleeding and potentially death.

An aneurysm can develop anywhere along the aorta, with most occurring in either the abdomen or in an area that runs through the chest (see image below). If the aneurysm is large and occurs at an area nearest to the heart, it may affect the aortic valve and lead to heart failure as the valve is not able to function properly.


Once formed, an aneurysm will gradually increase in size and the wall of the aorta will get progressively weaker. True growth of an aneurysm can be considered if there is 3mm or greater size increase in a year when comparing with a previous similar imaging study (CT scan with CT scan or echocardiography with echocardiography imaging). Please note that there are factors that can cause a different aortic aneurysm measurement that might lead to a 1mm difference, such as the use of a different scanning machine, background artifact/motion of the image, or a different person reading and examining the images for the measurement. It is recommended that your cardiothoracic surgeon and cardiologist examine the scans and determine the exact measurement themselves to monitor the aneurysm.

If you have an aneurysm, are at high-risk for an aneurysm, or have a family history for aneurysms, please be sure to reach out and discuss your concerns and screening options with your cardiologist or surgeon.

And this is what we have for today's session! Join us back here next week and thanks for tuning in. We hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. Stay healthy!




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