Re-Order Re-Order

Chat Support
Monday to Saturday


Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

A thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) is a life-threatening condition. It is characterized by an abnormal bulging that develops in the part of your aorta that extends through your chest.

It is also known as a thoracic aortic aneurysm, and it can form anywhere along your aorta, but most commonly in the ascending aorta or the descending aorta.

A thoracic aortic aneurysm can be described as an expansion, ballooning, or widening of your aorta, which disrupts its normal, tube-like shape. An enlarged segment of your aorta is considered an aneurysm if it is at least 50% wider than the normal aortic diameter.

Types of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

  • Ascending aortic aneurysm: This type affects the part of the aorta that curves upward from the heart.
  • Descending aortic aneurysm: This type affects the part of the aorta that extends downward through the chest.
  • Aortic arch aneurysm: This type affects the curved part at the top of the aorta, which resembles the handle of a cane.

Causes of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Several factors can contribute to the development of this condition, including:

  • Atherosclerosis: Plaque buildup in the aorta’s walls weakens the aorta’s walls over time, making aneurysms more likely to develop.
  • High blood pressure: Chronic high blood pressure can damage and weaken the aorta’s walls, making them more susceptible to aneurysms.
  • Infections: Bacterial or fungal infections can cause inflammation and weakening of the aorta’s walls, leading to aneurysms.
  • Trauma: Trauma to the chest, such as a car accident, can cause damage to the aorta and lead to aneurysms.
  • Genetic factors: Certain genetic conditions, such as Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and Turner syndrome, can weaken the aorta’s walls and make them more susceptible to aneurysms.

Symptoms of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Many people with thoracic aortic aneurysms have no symptoms until the aneurysm causes a medical emergency. 

Possible warning signs include:

·       chest or back pain

·       pain in your jaw, chest, neck, or upper back

·       coughing or hoarseness

·       difficulty swallowing

·       shortness of breath

Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include:

·       sudden, severe chest or back pain

·       difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate

·       loss of consciousness

·       dizziness

·       vision loss

·       confusion

·       fast heart rate

Risk Factors of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Several factors can increase the risk of developing an aortic aneurysm or experiencing a rupture, including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Tobacco Use
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Family History
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Connective Tissue Disorders

Complications of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Tears and rupture of the aorta are primary complications of thoracic aortic aneurysms, with larger aneurysms posing higher rupture risks. While some small aneurysms may not rupture, larger ones increase this risk. Complications may include:

·       life-threatening internal bleeding requiring emergency surgery

·       blood clot formation that could lead to vessel blockage elsewhere

·       stroke

Treatment of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Treatment for thoracic aortic aneurysms depends on several factors.

If the aneurysm is small and not causing any symptoms, doctors may recommend regular monitoring with imaging tests to track its growth. Medications may also be prescribed to manage risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

If the aneurysm is large or causing symptoms, surgery may be necessary. There are two main types of surgery for thoracic aortic aneurysms: 

·       open-chest surgery

·       endovascular surgery

After surgery, patients will need to be closely monitored to ensure that the aneurysm does not recur. Regular imaging tests will be necessary to track the size and shape of the aorta.

Lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and getting regular exercise can help reduce the risk of thoracic aortic aneurysms and their complications.

If you have a family history of thoracic aortic aneurysms or other risk factors, it’s important to talk to your doctor about screening and prevention strategies.

Search by Name