Aortic Aneurysm Terms

Abdomen
The part of the body between the rib cage and the hip bones

Acute Aortic Syndromes
Acute Aortic Syndromes refer to the aortic emergencies that include: aortic dissections, intramural hematomas, penetrating aortic ulcers, aortic aneurysm leaks and ruptures, and traumatic aortic transactions.

Aorta
The largest artery in the body which has its origin at the heart. It gives off branches to the extremities, neck and major organs for the purpose of supplying oxygenated blood

Aortic Valve
The aortic valve is the outflow valve for the left ventricle of the heart, the chamber that pumps blood to the body. The aortic valve opens when the ventricle squeezes blood out and then closes to keep blood from leaking back into the ventricle.

Chest X-ray
Commonly used to detect abnormalities in the lungs, but can also detect abnormalities in the heart, aorta, and the bones of the thoracic area

Computerized Tomography Scan (CT Scan)
A special radiographic technique that uses a computer to assimilate multiple X-ray images into a two-dimensional cross-sectional image. This technique can reveal many soft tissue structures not shown by conventional radiography. Scans may also be dynamic in which a movement of a dye is tracked.

Dissection
A condition in which there is bleeding into and along the wall of the aorta. This condition may also involve abnormal widening or ballooning of the aorta (aneurysm)

Echocardiography
A diagnostic test that uses ultrasound waves to make images of the heart chambers, valves and surrounding structures. It can measure cardiac output and is a sensitive test for inflammation around the heart (pericarditis). It can also be used to detect abnormal anatomy or infections of the heart valves.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
A special imaging technique used to image internal structures of the body, particularly the soft tissues. An MRI image is often superior to a normal X-ray image. Images are very clear and are particularly good for soft tissue, brain and spinal cord, joints and abdomen.

Median Sternotomy
The incision traditionally used to perform heart surgery in which the sternum or breast bone is divided down the middle from top to bottom

Penetrating aortic ulcer
An atherosclerotic lesion that penetrates the inner layers of the aorta. A penetrating aortic ulcer may lead to dissection. Patients with this lesion frequently experience chest or back pain similar to acute aortic dissection.

Suture
Usually a synthetic material much like fishing line that is minimally reactive in biological tissue

Symmetrical
Being similar in size, shape, and position of parts on opposite sides of a dividing line

 

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