Thoracic aortic aneurysm

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle

Presentation

Chest pain and shortness of breath.

Patient Data

Age: 80 years
Gender: Female
X-ray

Even allowing for projection the mediastinum is widened.

The aortic arch and descending thoracic aorta are enlarged with mass effect on the trachea which is displaced to the right.

Lungs clear.

X-ray

Radiograph from 2 years prior

The aortic arch and descending thoracic aorta are dilated with mass effect on the trachea which is displaced to the right.

Heart size normal. Lungs clear.

Case Discussion

In the majority of cases a dilated thoracic aorta on a chest radiograph in an elderly patient it is due to ectasia (sometimes referred to as unfolding of the aorta).

In this case, it is true aneurysmal dilatation which was confirmed on a CT (not available).

These radiographs also illustrate the magnification differences of a PA and AP projection on the mediastinal structures.

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Case information

rID: 76157
Published: 18th Apr 2020
Last edited: 18th Apr 2020
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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