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What is an Enlarged Aortic Root?

Aorta is the largest artery or blood vessel carrying blood from one’s heart to several other organs of the body. Aortic root constitutes the section of this largest artery i.e. aorta that remains close to and attached with the heart. Aortic root comprises of aortic valve and openings available for various coronary arteries. Aortic valve in this case contains three different cusps or flaps surrounded with an annulus or a fibrous ring.

Aortic aneurysm refers to an abnormal bulge present in the walls of one’s aorta. In case of any problem of aneurysm within the aortic root or enlarged aortic root, aorta may cause dilation and thereby, result in leakage of aortic valve. In case aneurysm problem expands consistently, it causes rupture. Layers present in the aortic wall may even separate or result in aortic dissection and life-threatening type of internal bleeding.

What is an Enlarged Aortic Root?

Aortic root aneurysms, as similar to any other types of aortic aneurysms take place because of hardening of arteries or atherosclerosis. In case of enlarged aortic root, the formation of cholesterol and fat results in breakdown of the aortic wall as well as weakness. Aortic root aneurysms are common in Marfan syndrome patients and other related genetic problems characterized by various weak connective tissues.

Diagnosis of the Enlarged Aortic Root

Medical experts evaluate the problem of enlarged aortic root based on both family and personal history of a patient. In addition, they opt for a detailed assessment to identify the exact cause of any aneurysm and evaluate additional aneurysms.

Consultation with genetic testing experts may even become essential in case other members of a family have a problem of aneurysm and are less than 70 years-age when doctors detect an aortic aneurysm. Later on, doctors develop a treatment plan based on the determination of an appropriate medical therapy, cardiology follow-up on a regular basis, determining an appropriate time for performing surgery.

Enlarged Aortic Root Surgery

Enlarged aortic root surgery involves a complicated surgical procedure for the treatment of dilation or aortic aneurysm/enlargement of a specific section present in the large blood vessel responsible for carrying blood from the heart to aorta and other vital organs. Aortic root remains present nearby the aorta’s junction and within the heart. Doctors perform the surgery of enlarged aortic root to prevent rupture, burst or tear within the inner layer of the respective dilated aorta’s wall and to prevent the stretching of dilated aorta by the attached aortic valve. Aortic root aneurysm has a close relationship with the Marfan syndrome and several other related genetic or cardiac problems.

Doctor in this case will discuss about the most appropriate surgical option with the patient according to his specific condition, while simultaneously, communicate about both risks and benefits associated with the surgery. Moreover, doctor evaluates the aortic dissection risk and measures the aorta’s diameter while deciding whether you are a right candidate to undergo with the surgical procedure.

Surgery Depends on Medical Emergency of a Patient

Surgery associated with aortic aneurysms, including the enlarged aortic root/aortic root aneurysm depends primarily on medical emergency of a patient. Alternatively, if doctors detect the problem in advance, they make plans for it in the form of an elective procedure. Emergencies take place whenever aneurysm ruptures or dissects the aorta requiring for an immediate surgery. For patients, who have suffered from aortic root aneurysms, have two major indications associated with the surgical procedure.

In case there any enlargement in the aortic root, doctors necessarily perform calcification or stenotic replacement of the aortic valve. While operating any patient because of the problem of bicuspid valve, doctors consider aortic root procedure as a necessary step, especially, when the root diameter becomes higher than 4 centimeters.

When the valve performs its functions properly, doctors may not consider for surgical intervention until and unless they found the aorta, as exceeding 5 centimeters.


  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Aortic Aneurysm. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/aortic-aneurysm
  2. Society of Thoracic Surgeons. (n.d.). Aortic Valve and Aortic Root Surgery. https://ctsurgerypatients.org/treatments/aortic-valve-and-aortic-root-surgery
  3. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Aortic Aneurysm. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/aortic-aneurysm/symptoms-causes/syc-20369472
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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