Acute aortic syndromes have extremely high mortality rates and those with aortic dilation are at increased risk for these often catastrophic events. Serial monitoring of patients with aortic dilation is critical to determine the appropriate timing of preventative interventions. The thoracic aorta can be imaged and measured using multiple imaging modalities including transthoracic echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiography, multidetector cardiac computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. There has not been agreement on the specific techniques that should be used to measure thoracic aortic dimensions with each imaging modality, leading to potential errors and challenges in comparing changes in measurements over time. It is critical to understand the current recommendations on thoracic aortic measurements for each imaging modality and cardiovascular imaging specialists need to be explicit about the methods that they have used to derive the thoracic aortic measurements. In those at high risk for aortic pathology, such as those with connective tissue diseases or bicuspid aortic valve, a multimodality imaging strategy incorporating echocardiography including three-dimensional measurements along with cardiac computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging should be used to establish aortic dimensions and for continued monitoring to avoid progression to acute aortic syndromes.
- aortic aneurysm
- bicuspid aortic valve (BAV)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine