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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
      Category : Health Centers > Cardiovascular (Circulatory System)

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

An aneurysm is an abnormal widening of a blood vessel. In this case, the blood vessel is in the aorta. This is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the rest of the body. The thoracic aorta is the part of the aorta that travels through the chest.

What is going on in the body?

A weakening of the wall of the aorta can cause it to widen or swell. The larger the aneurysm, the more pressure it puts on the nearby tissues and the greater the risk of rupture. An artery that ruptures or bursts open is an emergency that often causes death.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

Causes of thoracic aortic aneurysm include:

  • hardening and narrowing of the arteries, known as atherosclerosis
  • genetic diseases that cause weakness of the tissues that make up the aorta
  • late stage syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease
  • other infections or inflammation of the aorta
  • chest trauma, such as a crush injury
  • In many cases, the cause is not known.


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    Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eric Berlin, MD
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 05/07/01

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