Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAAs)

What is it?

It is a dilation of thoracic and abdominal aorta that is considered pathological when transverse diameter is one and a half as much as the normal one. The highest risk group is persons who have other pathologies, such as atherosclerosis and related risk factors (smoking, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and arterial hypertension), traumas, congenital diseases, aorta wall infections, aortic dissection (rupture of part of the vessel wall). In general, men are more at risk than women. People over 50 are also at high risk.

Which are the symptoms?

This is a prevalently asymptomatic disease. However, in certain cases, intermittent pain in the chest or precordialgia, abdominal and/or lumbar pain of variable intensity can occur. In certain cases, respiratory difficulties, voice change, swallowing and eating difficulties or thromboembolic manifestations in lower limbs, abdominal organs or spinal cord (paraplegia or paraparesis) can be observed. In the event of rupture, the pain is associated with a state of hemorrhagic shock that can be lethal within a few moments.

  • chest or retrosternal, abdominal and/or lumbar pain       
  • difficulty breathing       
  • voice alteration       
  • difficulty swallowing and eating in general
  • thromboembolic manifestations in the lower limbs, abdominal viscera or spinal cord (paraplegia or paraparesis)

How is it diagnosed?

Patients with the described symptoms are at high risk of suspecting aneurysmal disease of the thoraco-abdominal aorta and should undergo imaging tests.

Suggested exams

How is it treated?

Surgical treatment is used. It consists in substitution of an aneurysmal aorta section by a synthetic prosthesis. Hybrid treatment can also be used. It is a combination of surgical and endovascular treatment which makes it possible to treat even the most complex cases of aorta disease.

Are you interested in receiving the treatment?

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