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Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm (TAA)

A thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) is an abnormal widening or ballooning of the aorta found in the chest. About 20% of cases are linked to family history. Risk factors for a thoracic aneurysm include:

  • Changes caused by age
  • Connective tissue disorders such as Marfan or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Inflammation of the aorta
  • Injury from falls or motor vehicle accidents
  • Syphilis

Signs & Symptoms

Thoracic aortic aneurysms often grow slowly and without symptoms, making them difficult to detect. Some patients may experience:

  • Tenderness or pain in the chest
  • Back pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Diagnosis

If a Deborah physician suspects a thoracic aortic aneurysm, they may order the following tests:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Computed tomography (CT scan)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)