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Thoracic aortic aneurysms 

Thoracic aortic aneurysms
Chapter:
Thoracic aortic aneurysms
Author(s):

Rizwan Attia

, Rachel E. Clough

, and Peter R. Taylor

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199658220.003.0055
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date: 14 October 2019

Thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA) are the commonest pathology of the thoracic aorta. The incidence of TAA increases with age and the prevalence is 3–4% in those over 65 years of age. TAAs have a strong genetic component and, in some families, there appears to be an autosomal dominant trait. Connective tissue disorders such as Marfan, Ehlers–Danlos (type IV), and Loeys–Dietz syndromes predispose to the condition. There are also infectious and inflammatory causes. The underlying vascular biology is complex and incompletely understood. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance angiography are the diagnostic tools of choice for diagnosis and treatment planning. Intervention for aneurysms affecting the ascending aorta is recommended at a diameter of 5.5 and 6.0 cm for those in the descending thoracic aorta. Symptomatic aneurysms must be treated regardless of size.

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