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Question:

Is my aortic arch aneurysm growing faster than normal?

Hello. I was diagnosed with aortic arch aneurysm last Oct in 2011. It was about 4.1 to 4.2 cm. Since then I had 3 more CT scans done. Last CT was in Sept 12. It is now at about 4.7. My question - is it growing faster than normal? I take BP meds and beta blockers.

submitted by David from Apopka, Florida on 12/7/2011

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiovascular surgeon, James J. Livesay, MD  

James J. Livesay, MDDear David, Aneurysms of the thoracic aorta may enlarge at a rate that varies with each patient. While some series have found that the rate of growth for older patients may average 3 mm per year, this does not represent a universal fact for each patient. It is recommended that repeated CT or MRI angiograms be obtained to follow the progression and decide on the optimal time to intervene. Usually these studies are performed annually but may be needed more frequently if the patient has aortic dissection, a family history, a connective tissue abnormality such as Marfan’s syndrome, or symptoms of chest discomfort or uncontrolled blood pressure. The criteria for repair also depends upon a multitude of factors which have to be applied individually for each patient. You should be followed by a cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon who are familiar with the treatment of thoracic aneurysms.  

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Updated December 2012
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