What does a CT scan of the aorta show?

CT uses X-rays to create cross-sectional images of the body, including the aorta. It can detect the size and shape of an aneurysm.

How serious is a descending aortic aneurysm?

The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body, and it delivers blood from the heart to the rest of the body. A descending thoracic aortic aneurysm can burst, which can cause life-threatening, uncontrolled bleeding.

Can you see an aortic aneurysm on a CT scan?

Abdominal CT scan. This painless test uses X-rays to create cross-sectional images of the structures inside the belly area. It’s used to create clear images of the aorta. An abdominal CT scan can also detect the size and shape of an aneurysm.

What is the difference between an ascending and descending aortic aneurysm?

The arch’s downward portion, called the descending aorta, is connected to a network of arteries that supplies most of the body with oxygen-rich blood. The upward part of the arch, which is the section closest to the heart, is called the ascending aorta.

What size descending aortic aneurysm requires surgery?

If the aneurysm is more than 5.5 centimeters in size, or if it’s rapidly getting larger, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair the aneurysm.

What causes descending aortic aneurysm?

Descending thoracic aortic aneurysm causes Family history (first-degree relatives such as father or brother) Genetic factors. Hyperlipidemia (elevated fats in the blood) Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Is the descending aorta Part of the heart?

Like other sections of the aorta (the ascending aorta and aortic arch), the descending aorta is an arbitrary anatomic entity. The aorta is one continuous conduit that stems from the left ventricle of the heart to carry blood to most of the body.

Will a CT scan show an unruptured aneurysm?

Most unruptured aneurysms are discovered incidentally during routine imaging of the brain, such as an MRI or CT scan (see Diagnosis of a Brain Aneurysm).

Can you see an aortic aneurysm on CT without contrast?

With or without contrast enhancement, CT is an excellent screening examination for AAA. CT depicts the absolute size of the aneurysm. However, the extent of mural thrombus and the presence of dissection cannot be evaluated without the administration of contrast material.