Sunday, February 28, 2010
Always ask your cardiologist or cardiac surgeon prior to signing up for surgery what are your risk if you continue conservative management of your aneurysm. Many times surgery is performed because the individuals taking care of you are nervous about leaving the aneurysm alone and continuing surveillance. I hear this often when people come to see me for a second opinion. Most of the time I recommend conservative management and place the patient in our surveillance program. So be careful who is recommending surgery and how many patients they are treating with aneurysms. Many 5 cm ascending aortic aneurysms can be watched carefully. Seek a second opinion from an aortic reference center.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The ascending aorta has a normal diameter in the range of 2.0 to 2.5 cm. A diameter which is double this diameter is considered an aneurysm. All aneurysms must be followed carefully with serial echocardiograms, CT scan or MRI. The frequency of the surveillance study is dependent on symptoms, family history of aneurysm or dissection, size of the aneurysm, and the cause of the aneurysm. Your cardiologist or aortic specialist would set up an appropriate schedule.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
As I mentioned, the winter months it is more common for physicians to care for patients with acute aortic dissections. The patients who were more likely to develop a dissection during these months were woman, age less than 70, without diabetes, and normal blood pressure at the time of presentation. You can find this information in a study published in Circulation, 2002.
In the winter months it is more common to experience an aortic dissection. The proposed reason for the increased incidence is a change in blood viscosity and elevation in heart rate and blood pressure. Also, it is more common to have an aortic dissection in the morning hours.