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What is a Descending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm?

Descending type of thoracic aortic aneurysm refers to weakness and bulging in the wall of a descending thoracic aorta i.e. the artery remains present in the back portion of individual’s chest cavity. Aorta is the biggest blood vessel of humans and it is responsible to deliver blood from a person’s heart to various other parts of the body. Descending type of thoracic aortic aneurysm may cause burst, which a life-threatening problem is resulting in an uncontrolled bleeding.

What is a Descending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm?

Symptoms of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Most of the thoracic aortic aneurysm often develop at a slow rate with time and may remain in asymptomatic condition until and unless they cause any leak or may rupture. Many times, doctor identifies the problem whenever you undergo with an X-ray or a CT scan for any other health problem. Whenever rupture of thoracic aneurysm takes place, patients usually deal with excruciating back or chest pain.

Even a few individuals may face difficulty in breathing or may lose their consciousness. In rare cases, aneurysms grow to become large or put pressure on specific nerves, food pipes or airways. Thus, because of thoracic aortic aneurysm, individuals deal with various problems, which include wheezing, hoarseness and difficulty in swallowing food.

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms Causes

Factors, which may cause the problem of descending type of thoracic aortic aneurysm are-

  • Congenital weakness of the walls present in an artery
  • Atherosclerosis or formation of fat substances
  • Artery wall weakness
  • Tearing of any artery wall
  • Physical trauma
  • Family history associated with the problem

Descending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Diagnose

If you are a patient of descending thoracic aortic aneurysm, you will usually deal with dull pain or a severe one in your chest, abdomen, lower back and groin areas, along with sudden pain in your abdomen or back area. For this, specialists diagnose the patients by following a series of various tests, which include-

Treatments Available for Descending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

You have to consult with your doctor to choose a particular type of treatment method, which suits perfectly with your requirements.

Close Monitoring of the Condition: Your doctor may recommend you for undergoing with regular screenings to check the growth rate and size of the formed descending thoracic aortic aneurysm and thereby, determine the necessity of the surgical treatment.

Lifestyle Variations: Your doctor may recommend bringing some changes in your daily lifestyle. These include quitting cigarette smoking, controlling on your blood sugar levels, follow a low-fat diet for reducing the levels of cholesterol and thereby, preventing the growth of descending thoracic aortic aneurysm.

Medicine: Medicine has a prime role to reduce the cholesterol levels and high blood pressure of individuals.

Surgical Procedure: Surgeons may opt to repair the problem of descending thoracic aortic aneurysm by using a stent graft. They insert this graft within the aorta via the artery present in the patients’ leg. In some of the cases, open surgery that involves making large incision in the patient’s chest becomes essential for aneurysm repair via replacement of it with the help of an artificial type of blood vessel.

On the other side, stent graft repair in case of descending thoracic aortic aneurysm becomes essential when the risk related to operation is of relatively low than in case of an open repair. However, doctors have to consider the age of a patient, symptoms, comorbidities, aortic diameter, life expectancy, extent and other characteristics of an aneurysm as well as its landing zones to come up with the right decision.


Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 24, 2023

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