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Chest X-ray PA shows unfolding of aorta. What does it mean?

While chest x-ray PA views shown nothing irregular but only point mentions that unfolding of aorta noted. My age is about 60 years. What is it? Am I to be afraid of anything?My e mail id is YYYY@YYYY says no active parenchymal lung lesion is seen. Cardio-thoracic ratio is within normal limits.Both apical regions are normal.Both hilar regions are normal.Both costophrenic angles are clear.Contour of both domes of diaphragm are smooth and regular in outline.
Asked On : Fri, 7 Dec 2012
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello ,

Let me start off by explaining what unfolding of the aorta means. It indicates that the aorta which is the main vessel supplying blood to the body is becoming wider and is losing its normal fold. It is seen on a chest X-ray as in your case where there is associated widening of the space between the lungs (the mediastinum).

Unfolding of the aorta could be an age related or incidental finding but before we dismiss it as such we need to rule out a condition known as aortic aneurysm. An aortic aneurysm is a ballooning out of a part of the aorta due to weakening of its wall. The commoner causes are uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes , atheroscerosis and certain sexually transmitted diseases. The complication of an aneurysm is the tendency to rupture, this presents with excruciating/ tearing pain in the chest or abdomen associated with sweating, palpitations, increased heart rate and respiratory rate , dizziness and could progress to shock. Rupture of an aortic aneurysm is a medical emergency and immediate transfer to the hospital is required.

I cannot tell from your question if you have any of the above mentioned conditions or have experienced chest pains. Either way I would suggest you get evaluated by a cardiologist.

Good Luck
Answered: Wed, 12 Dec 2012
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