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Suggest treatment for chest pain caused by unfolding of aorta

Answered by
Dr. Suresh Heijebu

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2010

Answered : 3551 Questions

Posted on Wed, 27 Aug 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: I am 42 and having chest pain for 10 days. X-Ray reports suggests unfolding of aorta. Is there any serious cause of worry? Will I be fully normal after treatment? usually I play badminton every morning but have stopped due to chest pain. Will I be able to start normal life onbce again?
Answered by Dr. Suresh Heijebu 2 hours later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hi sir,

I have read your query and understand your concern.

Aortic unfolding is an old term to denote the radiological abnormality very commonly found on chest x ray which presents as widened space between the lungs in the region of heart.

This unfolding is absolutely a harmless condition and is due to age related increase in length (12% per decade) and diameter (3% per decade).

It does not have any pathological import and is usually associated with high blood pressure and atherosclerosis(cholesterol plaques).

Aortic unfolding per se does not need any treatment,as it is an age related change.

The chest pain in your case has to be further evaluated through 2-DIMENSIONAL ECHO of heart plus ECG and TMT .

I advice you to monitor your blood pressure ,have regular exercise and a good,low fat diet.

Decision to play badminton shall be reviewed only after above investigations are taken by you.till then avoid any gaming activity.

Consult a cardiologist for further assistance.

I hope this info is helpful to you.
Post your further queries if any on
Thank you

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
Follow up: Dr. Suresh Heijebu 4 hours later
Thank you very much for your detailed reply.
You have written that unfolding of aorta is age related change. But in my case isn't it early as I am only 42.
I read on the net that it may lead to ruptures also. In that case isn't it a cause for worry.
Please advise what could be the reason for the unfolding of aorta? several reasons are cited on the internet such as diabetes, hypertension, sexually transmitted diseases etc?
Finally, is it normal to have unfolding of aorta and are there serious complications for health?
Please advise.
Answered by Dr. Suresh Heijebu 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
No need to worry,consider 2d echo

Detailed Answer:
Hi sir,

Let me clarify to you once for all the unfolding of aorta is not prone to any rupture.

Unfolding of aorta is a radiological term taking aortic dimensions into consideration.

There is another condition called 'aortic aneurysm' which is dangerous and which is more prone to rupture.

This is usually associated with very high blood pressures from long a long time coupled with infectious diseases like Syphilis,which is an STD.

Most probably this is what you might have read from online.

Please do not get into this cyber knowledge ,it will only misguide you.

Yes you can have aortic unfolding at this age of 42,when there is associated atherosclerotic changes in the aorta which can arise due to cholesterol plaque deposition in the large vessel.

Hence i recommended you to have a lipid profile done.

In case you need further confirmation between aortic unfolding and aortic aneurysm ,i strongly advice you to get a 2D ECHO of heart or a Helical CT chest which can clearly delineate both the conditions and remove your fears.

I hope this info is useful to you,
Thank you
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Ashwin Bhandari

The User accepted the expert's answer

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