Webchat Transcripts - Questions and Answers with a Physician

The aorta is the main artery through which blood flows from the heart to the rest of the body. Many diseases and conditions, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), hypertension, genetic conditions (e.g., Marfan Syndrome), a connective tissue disorder (e.g., Ehler-Danlos disorder, polychondritis, scleroderma, osteogenesis imperfecta, polycystic kidney disease and Turners Syndrome) and injury, can cause the aorta to dilate (widen),form an aneurysm (bulging or ballooning in the wall of a blood vessel),or dissect (tear), placing you at increased risk for future life-threatening events. An aneurysm that occurs in the segment of the aorta that runs through the abdomen is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm;an aortic aneurysm develops in one of the aortic segments that lies very near the heart is called a thoracic aortic aneurysm.

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Reviewed: 09/18