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Question:

What are my treatment options for a dilated aortic root? 

For the last two months I have experienced pain in the center of my chest, and some backache which I don't think is related. Prior to this: on July 8th 2008, I was diagnosed with having a dilated aortic root at 5cm.  After further testing on July 10th 2008, this diagnosis was confirmed as an ectatic aortic root in the ascending aorta. No evidence of an aneurysm. Ectasia of ascending aorta with widest diameter at level of right pulmonary artery, measuring 4.1 cm and aortic root is dilated, measuring 4.6cm. Descending thoracic aorta and pulmonary artery has normal caliber. Pericardial effusion. Tiny coronary artery calcification was identified. Severe left ventricular hypertrophy in a concentric pattern with LV thickness measured 1.5 x 1.5 and the left ventricle is not enlarged end diastole. There is normal wall motion of 55% and normal diastolic function. My HDL cholesterol was considered a bit on the low side.

My question is: What are my treatment options and what kind of specialist should I be seeing? Is there any hope for me or should I just enjoy the days I do have and let nature take its course?  Thanks. 

submitted by Michael from Washington, DC on 3/14/2011

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiovascular surgeon, Denton A. Cooley, MD  

Denton A. Cooley, MDWe have no record of your age, blood pressure or other essentials.  In general, a dilated ascending aorta measuring 5cm diameter is indication for replacement with a fabric graft.  Your physician should control your blood pressure if it is elevated, and he/she should be informed of any new symptoms you may experience such as chest pain.  A cardiologist is an appropriate specialist for your condition, and this person can enlist a cardiovascular surgeon when needed.     

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Updated March 2011
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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