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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 102-105

Giant proximal aorta aneurysm: A successfully managed time bomb

Department of Medical Science, Division of Internal Medicine, Hypertension Unit, San Giovanni Battista Hospital, University of Torino, Torino, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Alberto Milan
Department of Medical Science, Division of Internal Medicine, Hypertension Unit, San Giovanni Battista Hospital, University of Torino, Via Genova 3, Torino
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2211-4122.127411

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Management of aortic aneurismatic disease is often care of specialists, from vascular to cardiac surgeons. However, initial diagnosis and management are not unfrequently responsibility of an emergency staff as the disease presentation may be dramatically acute. Thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA) in particular have a silent clinical history until they become evident with dissection or rupture with a high global mortality rate. The importance of a rapid diagnosis and of correct management in such a subsetting is clear, but recent guidelines where published with the declared rationale of emphasizing the importance of an early detection of the disease. The goal is to reduce morbidity and mortality and improvement of quality of life of such patients. We present a case of successfully managed asymptomatic giant proximal aortic aneurysm in a healthy young man. On a routine transthoracic echocardiogram, severe dilatation of the proximal aorta was detected, with severe aortic regurgitation in a normal tricuspid valve determining left ventricle (LV) dilatation and impaired contractility. Computed tomography scan was scheduled, confirming the findings and open heart surgery performed within 1 week. Clinical and echocardiographical follow-up was started; after 2 months imaging studies showed good surgical results with well-functioning, non-regurgitant prosthetic aortic valve and initial recovery of left ventricular dilatation; at the last control, 14 months later, LV mass and dimensions where markedly improved, with no more signs of hypertrophy nor dilatation. TAA needs a rapid diagnosis and appropriate management. Clinicians should be aware of proper diagnostic tools and of applicable therapeutic strategies in order to grant the better assistance to the patient. In this setting, the role of echocardiography remains pivotal.

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