Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm | HealthSoul

A thoracic aortic aneurysm occurs when the upper part of the aorta becomes weakened. This can lead to a tear in the artery wall and result in dangerous bleeding. Some aortic aneurysms do not grow or rupture, but others may burst without notice and can even be fatal. There are treatments that can help prevent aneurysms from growing and rupturing.

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Risk Factors

There are certain risk factors that can make it more likely for a person to develop a thoracic aortic aneurysm. These risk factors can also increase the risk of an aneurysm rupturing. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Degenerative changes
  • Genetics
  • Inflammatory disease
  • Infections
  • Blunt trauma

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Causes

Several things can cause thoracic aortic aneurysms. These factors can also contribute to how fast the aneurysms grow.  The most common causes of thoracic aortic aneurysms include:

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms

Some people do not experience any symptoms of an aortic aneurysm until it ruptures. At that point, it can be deadly and require emergency surgery to stop the bleeding. People who do experience the symptoms may confuse them with other health problems. In many cases, the symptoms are so mild that the sufferer just ignores them. Most only seek treatment once the symptoms become severe or if an aneurysm ruptures. Some commons symptoms of the disease include:

Symptoms of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Diagnosis of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Since the symptoms of aortic aneurysms are often hard to notice and can be confused with the symptoms of other illnesses, it can be hard for doctors to make a diagnosis. Some are found during routine scans. Doctors use a variety of diagnostic tests to confirm their diagnosis. Those tests include:

Treatment of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Treatments are focused on preventing the aneurysm from rupturing and helping to reduce the symptoms. The most common treatment is monitoring to ensure that an aneurysm is not growing or in danger of rupturing. Other common treatments include:

  • Beta blockers.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers
  • Statins
  • Open-chest surgery
  • Endovascular surgery
  • Other heart surgeries
  • Emergency surgery

Treatment of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Prognosis of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm 

Most people can live normal lives with aortic aneurysms as long they do not rupture. It is important to monitor them often to ensure that they are now growing or in danger of rupturing. If there is a risk that one could rupture, a doctor may choose to do surgery. If a thoracic aortic aneurysm ruptures and emergency treatment is not given, it can be fatal.

Complications of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

A ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysm can have some serious complications. It can lead to a tear in the aortic wall that can be fatal. If an aneurysm is treated before it ruptures, these complications may be avoided. Some common complications include:

  • Sudden, intense, and persistent chest or back pain
  • Pain that radiates to the back
  • Trouble breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Weakness or paralysis of one side of the body
  • Stroke