As with any aortic aneurysm, these usually start out quite small and grow gradually. 2018; doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2018.07.020. The normal size of the mid-descending thoracic aorta is 26-28 mm. Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) outcomes are worse in women than men, although reasons for sex differences are unknown. Mayo Clinic. Aneurysms occur more often in the portion of the aorta that runs through the abdomen (abdominal aortic aneurysm). An aortic aneurysm is a bulging, dilation, or ballooning in the wall of a blood vessel, usually an artery, that is due to weakness or degeneration that develops in a portion of the artery wall. It usually occurs at a weak spot in the aortic wall. A. neurysm of the thoracic aorta, renal ar- tery, or splenic artery is often detected incidentally but can present acutely with dis-section or rupture, with a high risk of death or morbidities. An abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is more common, happens below the chest. Older age: An ascending aortic aneurysm usually forms in people in their 60s and 70s. However, it is difficult to assess size accurately (due to magnification effects and often poor visualization on the side of the arter… Signs and symptoms that your thoracic aortic aneurysm has burst include: Another complication of aortic aneurysms is the risk of blood clots. The aorta is normally about the size of a large garden hose. If thoracic aortic aneurysms are severe enough to cause symptoms, you may experience severe chest or back pain, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, numbness or weakness in one or both arms, and loss of consciousness or low blood pressure. Thoracic aortic aneurysms. Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneurysm DONALD G. HARRIS and ROBERT S. CRAWFORD Presentation A 65-year-old woman with hypertension and a 30-pack-year smoking history presented to the emergency department with acute chest pain, dyspnea, nausea, and diaphoresis. Call 911 or your local emergency number for immediate assistance. A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a chronic condition that develops over time but can suddenly lead to severe and dangerous symptoms if a complication occurs. Mayo Clinic; 2019. How quickly an aortic aneurysm may grow is difficult to predict. Heritable thoracic aortic disease overview. The thoracic aorta runs through the chest to the abdomen. In: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2020. Due to the serious risks it presents, timely diagnosis and treatment of a thoracic aneurysm are critical. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular-disorders/diseases-of-the-aorta-and-its-branches/thoracic-aortic-aneurysms?query=Thoracic aortic aneurysms. There has been a bona fide increase in incidence of aortic aneurysm making aneurysm disease the 18th most common cause of death. CORONAVIRUS: DELAYS FOR ROUTINE SURGERIES, VISITOR RESTRICTIONS + COVID-19 TESTING. Aortic aneurysms in younger people often have a genetic cause. © 1998-2021 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). At this point, an aneurysm is at risk of rupturing and causing potentially fatal bleeding, just as a balloon will pop when blown up too much. However, rarely are thoracic aneurysms symptomatic unless they rupture or dissect. Epidemiology, risk factors, pathogenesis, and natural history of thoracic aortic aneurysm. This is … Blood flows out of the heart and into the aorta through the aortic valve. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. When an artery wall in the aorta weakens, the wall abnormally expands or bulges as blood is pumped through it, causing an aortic aneurysm. In general, the larger the aneurysm, the greater the risk of rupture. The thoracic aorta grows slowly-0.1 cm/year. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. 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