Starting at the left ventricle of the heart, the aorta is the largest artery in the body. It supplies the body with oxygenated blood, making it vital to sustaining life. The aorta has four components that deliver blood to different areas, including the ascending aorta, the thoracic aorta, the descending thoracic aorta and the abdominal aorta. When disease affects the aorta, it can lead to serious cardiovascular problems, including cardiac arrest. Four of the most common types of aortic conditions that may need treatment include:
- Abdominal aorta aneurysm.When the abdominal aorta expands or balloons, it can rupture and be life threatening. This aorta condition can be treated with an open repair to perform a graft on the aorta or an endovascular stent graft.
- Aortic dissection. If the inner layer of the aorta tears, blood can flow in between the inner and outer layers of the artery, causing an aorta dissection. This can be very dangerous, causing internal bleeding if the aorta ruptures. Repair is needed to prevent rupture.
- Aortic stenosis. When the opening to the aortic narrows, it can restrict blood flow from the left ventricle and cause damage to the heart valve. There are medications that can help treat aortic stenosis; severe cases may require valve replacement or balloon valvuloplasty.
- Thoracic aorta aneurysm. When the thoracic aorta walls weaken, it can expand and balloon into an aneurysm. If the aneurysm bursts, it can be fatal. Stenting or replacement of the aorta may be needed for treatment.
Aorta conditions are serious and need to be treated by an experienced cardiologist. If you are diagnosed with an aorta condition, seek medical care from a cardio specialist.
Posted on behalf of:
Alan Benvenisty, MD
1090 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10025