Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

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A thoracic aortic aneurysm occurs when the part of the aorta that passes through the chest weakens and has an abnormal widening or ballooning.

Physicians at the University of Maryland Medical Center's Center for Aortic Disease are specially-equipped to treat thoracic aortic aneurysms.

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm FAQs

What causes thoracic aortic aneurysms?

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The exact trigger for the development of thoracic aortic aneurysms is unclear and remains the focus of ongoing research at the Center for Aortic Disease. 

However, one of the common causes of thoracic aortic aneurysm is atherosclerosis – a buildup of fatty plaque causing hardening of the arteries. This is often seen in people with high cholesterol, long-term high blood pressure and smokers. 

Thoracic aortic aneurysms are also seen in patients with genetic syndromes such as Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Loeys-Dietz syndrome, and Turner syndrome. 

Inflammation of the aorta, injury from falls or motor vehicle accidents, and untreated syphilis are other causes. In 20 percent of all thoracic aortic aneurysm cases, thoracic aortic aneurysm occurs in the family with no other cause.