Learn about thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections

Thoracic Aortic Disease is an aneurysm, dissection, or rupture of any part of the aorta in the chest. Treatment and guidelines for living with aortic disease are available. We still have much to learn about how to prevent and treat this disease, but scientists and researchers are working hard to solve these problems.

Living with aortic disease

Lifestyle and exercise recommendations for living with aortic disease should be tailored to your individual diagnosis. Speak with your aortic care specialists about these recommendations and whether they are appropriate for you.


Learn more about recommended screening for relatives

Depending on how they are related to you and your family history, screening and/or genetic evaluation may be recommended for your relatives.

Screening of family members can prevent premature deaths if aneurysms are detected and treated, and therefore prevents aortic dissections. Treatment involves routine imaging and medications to decrease the rate of growth of aneurysm.  When an aneurysm reaches the size that it is at risk for dissecting, surgical repair of the aneurysms is recommended.  This treatment protocol is highly effective for preventing aortic dissection.

Genetic evaluation and testing

Depending on your family history, age at diagnosis, and other medical conditions you may have, clinical genetic testing may be appropriate. If another family member also has a thoracic aortic aneurysm or a dissection, genetic testing is recommended.



Support and resources

Know that you are not alone. Talking with others who know what you are going through may be helpful. Support groups and advocacy organizations can provide knowledge and remind you that you’re part of a community of people who are navigating these same challenges.


Patients choose to participate in research for different reasons. Some want to help move science forward. Some want to give back to the community and the next generation of patients that will be diagnosed. Some find participating in research provides a feeling of empowerment.