A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in any part of the aorta in the chest. If not properly diagnosed and clinically managed, an aneurysm can lead to dissection. Learn the difference between dissection and aneurysm. Learn the difference between dissection and aneurysm.
Question 3 - An acute thoracic aortic dissection is:
A thoracic aortic dissection (TAD) is a tear in the wall of the aorta in the chest. When this happens, blood begins to flow within the layers of the artery which decreases the amount of oxygen and nutrients available for the organs of the body. Learn the difference between dissection and aneurysm.
Question 4 - Aortic dissection risk factors can include:
There are several factors that can increase someone's risk for aortic disease, including:
Family history of thoracic aortic aneurysm or dissection
Certain genetic syndromes: Marfan Syndrome, Loeys-Dietz Syndrome, and Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
Bicuspid aortic valve
Uncontrolled high blood pressure
Three types of imaging studies can identify aortic aneurysms and dissections: CT, MRI, and transesophageal echocardiogram. A chest X-ray or EKG cannot rule out aortic dissection. Learn about risk factors.
Question 5 - Bicuspid aortic valve is:
A bicuspid aortic valve is an aortic valve that only has two leaflets, instead of three. It is the most common heart defect people are born with, affecting 1-2% of the population. Bicuspid aortic valve increases the risk of thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection. Learn about bicuspid aortic valves.
Question 6 - Symptoms of an acute aortic dissection can include:
Aortic dissection is a medical emergency. The most common symptom is sudden onset sharp, severe pain in the chest, neck, back, or abdomen. Other symptoms may include fainting or dizziness, a sudden increase or decrease in blood pressure, profuse sweating, and other signs. Learn about the symptoms of acute aortic dissection.
Question 7 - An X-ray or EKG can conclusively diagnose an aneurysm or dissection. T or F?
Anyone with chest pain or other symptoms of aortic dissection should seek emergency medical attention no matter their age, gender, or race. Heart attacks are far more common than aortic dissection. But if a heart attack or other important diagnosis is not clearly and quickly established, then aortic dissection should be quickly considered and ruled out, particularly if a patient has a family history or features of a genetic syndrome that predisposes the patient to an aortic aneurysm or dissection. Learn more about your aortic health.
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