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.

Recommended screening

Depending on how you are related and your personal and family history, screening may be recommended for you.

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 testing

Genetic testing: the recommended approach is to do genetic testing in a family member who has a thoracic aortic aneurysm or had an aortic dissection. Genetic testing may still be recommended for you if no affected family member is available for testing based on your risk to inherit the altered gene.


Connect with a community

Supporting a family member or being a caregiver of someone affected with thoracic aortic disease can be challenging. 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.