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Thoracic Aneurysm

A Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm is an aortic aneurysm that presents primarily in the thorax. It is less common than an abdominal aortic aneurysm. However, a syphilitic aneurysm is more likely to be a thoracic aortic aneurysm than an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

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CAUSES & RISK FACTORS

It can be caused by blunt injury.

The diagnosis of thoracic aortic aneurysm usually involves patients in the 6th and 7th decades of life. Aneurysms in patients younger than 40 usually involve the ascending aorta due to a weakening of the aortic wall associated with connective tissue disorders like the Marfan and Ehler-Danlos syndromes or congenital bicuspid aortic valve. Younger patients may develop aortic aneurysms of the thoracoabdominal aorta after an aortic dissection.

Atherosclerosis is the principal cause of descending aortic aneurysms, while aneurysms of the aortic arch may be due to dissection, atherosclerosis or inflammation.

Hypertension and cigarette smoking are the most important risk factors, though the importance of genetic factors has been increasingly recognized. Approximately 10% of patients may have other family members who have aortic aneurysms. The principal causes of death due to thoracic aneurysmal disease are dissection and rupture. Once rupture occurs, the mortality rate is 50-80%, and most deaths in patients with the Marfan syndrome are the result of aortic disease.

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TREATMENT OPTIONS

Indication for surgery may depend upon the size of the aneurysm. Aneurysms in the ascending aorta may require surgery at a smaller size than aneurysms in the descending aorta.

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OUR VASCULAR SURGEONS

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Make an Appointment

Make an appointment at one of our Westchester Heart & Vascular locations. For physician information or to find a physician, call (877) WMC-VEIN (877-962-8346).

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