Thoracic aortic aneurysm is a widening of the aorta, the body’s largest artery.

The most common cause is hardening of the arteries.  Other risk factors include:

  • Connective tissue disorders such as Marfan Syndrome
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Previous dissection of the aorta
  • Syphillis
  • Trauma

There are different treatment recommendations, depending on the size and location of the aneurysm.  CT Scan shows the size of the aorta and exact location of the aneurysm.  Some aneurysms are small and can be followed without surgery.  Others, due to the size, would require surgery.

Most patients have no symptoms until the aneurysm begins to leak or expand, and this may be accompanied by sudden chest or back pain.