Aortic aneurysm: An outpouching (a local widening) of the largest artery in the body, the aorta, involving that vessel in its course above the diaphragm (thoracic aortic aneurysm) or, more commonly, below the diaphragm (abdominal aortic aneurysm). The diagnosis of an aortic aneurysm can be straight forward or difficult. Around 1900 the eminent physician William Osler said: “There is no disease more conducive to clinical humility than aneurysm of the aorta.” At the area of the aneurysm, there is typically a bulge and the wall is weakened and may rupture. Because of the volume of blood flowing under relatively high pressure through the aorta, a ruptured aneurysm of the aorta is a catastrophe.
The word “aneurysm” comes from the Greek “aneurysma” meaning “a widening.”
- Aortic arch
Aortic arch: The second section of the aorta following the ascending aorta. As it continues from the heart, it gives off the brachiocephalic trunk, and the left common carotid and subclavian arteries. The brachiocephalic trunk splits to form the right subclavian and the right common carotid arteries, which supply blood to the right arm and […]
- Aortic arch syndrome
Aortic arch syndrome: 1. Any disorder that causes occlusion of the arteries that arise from the aortic arch. 2. Synonym for Takayasu disease. 3. The subclavian steal syndrome.
- Aortic atresia
Aortic atresia: Congenital absence of the normal valvular opening from the left ventricle of the heart into the aorta. Atresia here refers to the absence of a normal opening.
- Aortic dissection
A progressive tear in the aorta. The inner lining (intima) of the aorta tears and blood surges through the tear, creating a new false channel and separating (dissecting) the middle layer (media) from the outer layer of the aorta. Aortic dissection usually occurs in the thoracic aorta, less often the abdominal aorta. About three-fourths of […]
- Aortic insufficiency
Aortic insufficiency: Backflow of blood from the aorta into the left ventricle across a weakened aortic valve. Also known as aortic regurgitation.