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What causes increased diameter of thoracic aorta?

Answered by
Dr. Ilir Sharka


Practicing since :2001

Answered : 6459 Questions

Posted on Mon, 26 Oct 2015 in Veins and Arteries
Question: Should one be concern...ascending thoracic aorta 4.4
thank you,
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
I recommend periodically scheduled follow ups with echography.

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for asking on HCM!

I understand your concern and would explain that you have a moderate dilatation of the aorta.

For the thoracic aorta, a diameter greater than 3.5 cm is generally considered dilated, whereas greater than 4.5 cm would be considered aneurysmal.

Aneurysm is defined as dilatation of the aorta of greater than 150% of its normal diameter for a given segment.

So your aorta for the moment can be considered just dilation but just one step away from considering an aneurismal dilation.

I recommend you to perform periodically scheduled follow ups with echography (every 6-12 months) to monitor the possible evolution of your aorta dimension.

If your aorta dimension increase during follow ups, surgery could be taken into consideration.

You should know that the main risk of aorta aneurysms is the possible acute rupture with high mortality.
The cumulative risk of rupturing a thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) is related to aneurysm diameter.

From the literature the risk of rupture at 5 years is 15-20% for diameter 4-5.9 cm, and 30-40% for aneurysms greater than 6 cm in diameter.

Meanwhile, you should consult with your doctor for a proper medical treatment.

The goal of medical therapy is to reduce the pulse pressure within the aorta. Reducing the heart rate, the blood pressure (BP), pain, and anxiety are the mainstays of therapy.

Betablockers ( metoprolol, esmolol, labetalol,etc) are considered the best treatment to hold under control your blood pressure and reducing the pulse pressure in your aorta.

Calcium channel blockers are another option of therapy if betablockers are contraindicated.

Some lifestyle modifications are also useful :

A healthy diet (low salt intake, low caffeine, low fat, full of proteins and vitamins)
Avoiding straining physical activity
Avoid smoking

You should discuss with your doctor on the above mentioned issues.

Hope to have been helpful!

Feel free to ask any other questions, whenever you need!


Dr. Iliri

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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