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It's Topic Tuesday

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

Today is Topic Tuesday at Aortic Hope.

We discussed aortic dissections last week in our series. Can you remember which type of dissection (Type A or Type B) involves the descending aorta? Comment your answers below!

This week, we share a nice summary of aortic aneurysms by Medline Plus.

An aneurysm refers to a bulge or swelling within the wall of an artery in the body often due to weakness in the lining of the vessel. Larger aneurysms carry an elevated risk for rupture or dissection. They can develop anywhere along the aorta, and are often grouped into two main categories:

  1. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) - these are the more common type and occur lower in the aorta along the abdominal region.

  2. Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms (TAA) - these are associated with connective tissue disorders such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos. These occur higher in the aorta, within the chest area.

Aortic aneurysms share many of the same risk factors as the ones we discussed with aortic aneurysms last week, including hypertension, male gender, smoking, old age and tissue disorders.

One important note about aneurysms - there is a lot of evidence to suggest a familial association with aneurysms formation. Therefore, if you or a loved one have ever been diagnosed with an aneurysm, it is important to have relatives screened by your physician.

Also be sure to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms of an aneurysm formation, such as a bulge in your stomach that seems to have a “heartbeat”, short breath, trouble swallowing, or pain that travels to your back.

Diagnosis of an abdominal aneurysm may be done with ultrasound or CT scan. Should one be discovered, treatment options include both open surgical and/or endovascular repair. Be sure to have an open and honest discussion with your physician to discuss all possible treatment options, as well as their expected recovery durations.

Here is a link to the article.

As always, our family at Aortic Hope thanks you for being on this journey with us. Be safe and happy and remember to always Think Aorta! Until next time. ~ Adham

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