Submitted by Dr T on February 27, 2013 – 9:24am
On 2-12-13 I found I have an aorta aneurysm located on the ascending aorta measuring 3.9cm at the level of the pulmonary arteries. The CT scan prior to this one was done on 8-4-11 showed it to be 3.6 but was not shown on the report until my cardio had them recheck the scan and there it was. It was either missed or not worth mentioning. I currently am on BP meds and Lipitor. I would not be too worried about this as everything I have read lists 5cm as the size for considering treatment, except that my mother died for a ruptured aneurysm which was too small for treatment. There were extenuating circumstances with her, but nonetheless, I am a bit worried as I have read that I could be of higher risk due to my Mom having one. I also have sarcoidosis and was wondering if this disease could cause it to grow faster or rupture sooner. Is there a need to have follow ups sooner than annual and what kind of precautions can I take? Would I have restrictions on lifting things, etc?
- While general recommendations are indeed to advice aortic root replacement when the ascending aorta reaches a size of 5cm diameter, it appears yours is expanding rapidly (almost 10% in 6 months). It is therefore reasonable to consider surgery earlier rather than later when dangerous complications such as a dissection are more likely:
- Interval treatment, such as avoiding straining (and a high blood pressure in general) is important.
- An underlying systemic disease (such as Marfan Syndrome or possibly your sarcoidosis) would not change my opinion whether to operate now or not, but may have future implications for follow-up management.
- Consider to have your surgery at a major medical center and a surgeon with extensive experience with thoracic aortic surgery.
Hope this helps,