Aortic dilation is same as an aortic aneurysm. Aortic dilation is nothing but the enlargement of aorta than its normal size. An individual suffers no symptoms until there is a rupture. However, one can experience occasional pain in legs, abdominal, back and neck. They occur commonly in the abdominal aorta. However, it is also possible to locate them in the thoracic aorta.
Aortic dilation leads to weakness of the wall of the aorta, which increases the chances of aortic rupture. Due to the rupture, there is massive bleeding of the blood that results in shock and death.
Screening is the best way to understand aortic dilation and for treatment before there is a rupture. Ultrasound of the abdominal aortic is the cost-efficient procedure for understanding the presence of an aortic aneurysm. Doctors can also receive information related to the same from CT scan, MRI scan, angiography and x-ray.
The classification of an aortic aneurysm depends on its location on the aorta. The following are the classifications:
- Thoracic aortic aneurysms that are found in the chest and classified further as ascending, descending, and aortic arch
- Abdominal aortic aneurysms, which is the standard form of aortic dilation that involves the abdominal cavity
- Aortic root aneurysm.
As stated earlier, it is difficult for any individual to notice the presence of an aortic aneurysm until there is a rupture. People only experience symptoms such as mild pain in legs, chest, and the abdominal region as the enlargement progresses. The rate of expansion is unpredictable and varies from one individual to other. The reason for it is the health condition of the individual, the lifestyle, eating habits, smoking habits, and family history of an aneurysm.
Medical imaging will be helpful in confirming the presence of an aortic aneurysm and determine the extent of the damage.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is common than its counterpart, the thoracic aneurysm. The reason is due to the reduction in the protein content called elastin, which reduces in the abdominal aorta as compared to that of the thoracic aorta. The growth of an aortic aneurysm increases with age and occurs commonly in men aged about 60 years.
The risk of rupturing depends on the diameter of an aneurysm. In such cases, it is preferable to attend to the situation through a surgery that helps in removal of an aneurysm based on the condition of the patient. The classic symptom of the rupture of an aneurysm is abdominal pain that is severe and radiates to the back and neck. With the help of ultrasound, it is possible to confirm the presence of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The free flow of the fluid in the abdominal confirms the rupture.
Aortic ruptures because of reduced strength in the wall thickness of the blood vessel. The rupture requires surgical emergency and has a high mortality rate even when attended to it immediately.
- Tobacco use
- Marfan syndrome
- Coronary artery disease
- Increased C-reactive protein
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Loeys-Dietz syndrome.
Reducing blood pressure, cholesterol level, and quitting smoking are helpful in preventing the enlargement of an aneurysm. Currently, an investigation is on for the use of doxycycline, as it possesses collagen properties that help in preventing the formation of an aortic aneurysm.
Using anacetrapib is also helpful as it helps in reducing the low-density lipoprotein and increasing the high-density lipoprotein. It additionally helps in reducing the expansion of hardening of the arteries because of reduction in non-HDL cholesterol.
- Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm or Thoracic Aneurysm and Aortic Dissection (TAAD)
- What is Aortic Root Disease?
- Why Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is Most Common?