I went into the ER the other night because I was actually having sternum pain related to a bronchial infection. To rule out anything more seriously, the ER ran a # of tests on me (EKG, Chest Xray and CT Scan of the chest). Every test came back normal for the chest issue. The ER doctor said "we did find a dilated Aortic Root on your CT Scan." He proceeded to tell me that it might not be anything to worry about and I may have been born with this. I am 28 and in great health otherwise. In fact, this was my first visit ever to an ER (and the first time any of these tests were ever done on me).
The CT scan reported that the dilation with 4cm.
I went back to my GP for a checkup today and he is more concerned about this and wants me to get an Echo and then see a Vascular Surgeon.
Anyone out there ever have this diagnosed, what could this mean and should I be seriously worried??
Normal aortic root size is 2.0-and around 3.7 cm. Your root is slightly high, but could be in the high "normal" range as 4cm is within a margin of error in calculations.
The purpose of the echo is to determine if the valves are normal in structure and movement, heart wall motion is adequate and not impaired, and the heart is functioning properly so that sufficient blood is getting into circulation with each heartbeat.
If there is a problem it will show on the echocardiogram's screen as the movement of blood through the heart and out the aorta is easily visualized and measured. It will establish a baseline for future reference and depending on the underlying cause may only require watching.
I agree with the ER doctor, but it is necessary to follow up to rule out a serious problem.
I appreciate your response. My D.O (GP) was rambling on about all the problems this could be, and I do appreciate him educating me, but it made me very scared at the same time. I do not plan on treading lightly on the matter, my Echo is already scheduled for 12/13...but I need to find out more before "freaking out."
My DO also told me (and my husband) not to try and get pregnant any time soon. We have been trying for the past 6-7 months with no success. It was hard to hear those words but then it got me thinking - why would now be any different then later in my life? This may never go away? So, does that mean I should never have kids?
Its tough....I wish I knew more.
Thanks again for the reponse...
Anyone else out there - please feel free to chime in with comments or thoughts!
Maybe widening the scope and perspective will enable others to respond.
If Marfan Syndrome has not been ruled out there is a very high risk with pregnancy. The syndrome is a disorder that weakens connecting tissue and the added system and cardio pressures in pregnancy can rupture (dissection) the wall of the aorta.
Pregnancy in women with Marfan syndrome seems relatively safe with size
less than 4.5 cm. If it is assumed relatively safe with weakened artery walls at 4.5, it is reasonable to postulate without Marfan there would be safety at 4.2 cm.
An enlarge aorta root can also cause the valve to leak, but that would be of little concern and not an issue. The danger is an increase in pressures and a dissection. That would be life threatening.
I have read a bit on Marfan's since the doctor's visit on Wed. However, I do not present with any of the phenotypes. Yes, I am tall (5'8") but that is not even "that" tall and I do have long fingers, but not really "abnormally" long. I do not have a taller than normal frame and my breastbone is about the size it should be. I have a lot of tall people (normal tall, not 7ft tall) in my family.
I guess any syndrome, however, can give you some attributes and not all of them. I just highly doubt I have this Marfan's if it presents the same way every time....I am sure some doctor out there in my life would have commented on how "large" my features were.
I hope to get all these answers when I meet with the Cardiologist next week - obviously I can speculate all I want to - but I need more data.
Thank you for you ongoing conversation. I appreciate you and anyone else who may respond.
In 2000, I was told my aorta was in the form of a curly Q. This was found after a chest xray which they saw a "mass" in my chest. It was my aorta. I was told it had to do with my having hbp. Didn't think anything of it until now. Again a mass showed in my x ray while checking for problems with my spine due to mid back pain. I had a ct scan done. It showed dilatation of the aortic knob. Both aortas are 3cm in diam. A little scared. I'm calling my pcp tomorrow for a referral to a cardio.
Has anyone heard of anything like this before?
In addition to the mid back pain I have a dull constant pain in the right side of my stomach. My pcp told me to just have a ct scan re-done in 6 months.
I hope everyone finds peace and calm through the hard times of finding out what is the matter. Anxiety is an awful thing and it really plays terrible tricks on you. I've felt like I am going to pass out and start sweating and feeling shortness of breath... and it's all coming from the mind.