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Video: The Arizona Heart Institute Announces the Largest Worldwide Experience with Endoluminal Grafting to Treat Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Related Pathologies
Date:9/28/2007

urysmal dilatation. A pseudoaneurysm, also known as a false aneurysm, is an "out pouching" of the aorta involving a defect in the two innermost tissue layers or the aorta. True aneurysms, in contrast, are vascular out pouchings involving all three tissue layers of the aorta. Less common yet serious conditions such as a penetrating ulcer of the aorta or a fistula, which is an abnormal connection or passageway between the aorta and other organs, can cause fatal hemorrhage. Trauma from a fall or motor vehicle accident may cause the thoracic aorta to transect and rupture.

Left untreated, TAAs can burst or rupture, leading to severe internal bleeding, shock and death. Approximately half of all TAAs go undetected because patients do not experience symptoms. Presence of symptoms may depend on the location and size of the aneurysm and whether a dissection is present. Symptoms of aortic rupture or dissection can occur suddenly with severe, sharp pain in the chest or upper back. Patients who experience these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

Early detection of aortic aneurysms can prevent sudden death, therefore patients with a family history of aortic aneurysm or other connective tissue disorders should notify their physician about their risk of thoracic aortic aneurysm. Thoracic aneurysms can be easily diagnosed using simple imaging tests including MRI and CT scan. If the TAA is small (around four or less centimeters in diameter), the physician may simply recommend monitoring the size and shape of the aneurysm every six months while also addressing other risk factors such as high blood pressure to reduce the degree of pressure on the weakened area of the aneurysm. Large, symptomatic TAAs require prompt attention to prevent rupture and are typically treated by a vascular surgeon with either open surgical repair or less invasive, endoluminal graft repair as described in this respect.

About the Arizona Heart Institute

Since 1971, the Ari
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SOURCE The Arizona Heart Institute
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