The type of thoracic aortic aneurysm characterized by an outpouching of the aorta is:
Aortic aneurysms can be either "true" or "false:' True aneurysms can take two forms: fusiform and saccular. Fusiform aneurysms are more common and can be described as symmetrical dilatations of the aorta. Saccular aneurysms are localized outpouchings of the aorta. False aneurysms, also called pseudoaneurysms, are leaks in the aortic wall that are contained by the outer layer of the aorta and/ or the periaortic tissue; they are caused by disruption of the aortic wall and lead blood to collect in pouches of fibrotic tissue.
Which of the following is the most common cause of thoracic aortic aneurysms?
Nonspecific medial degeneration is the most common cause of thoracic aortic disease. Histologic findings of mild medial degeneration, including fragmentation of elastic fibers and loss of smooth muscle cells, are expected in the aging aorta. However, an advanced, accelerated form of medial degeneration leads to progressive weakening of the aortic wall, aneurysm formation, and eventual dissection, rupture, or both. The underlying causes of medial degenerative disease remain unknown.
The most common complication of extensive repair for distal aortic aneurysms is:
Although spinal cord ischemia and renal failure receive the most attention, several other complications warrant consideration. The most common complication of extensive repairs is pulmonary dysfunction. With aneurysms adjacent to the left subclavian artery, the vagus and left recurrent laryngeal nerves are often adherent to the aortic wall and thus are susceptible to injury.
Marfan syndrome is caused by an abnormality in which of the following proteins?
Marfan syndrome is an autosomal-dominant genetic disorder characterized by a specific connective tissue defect that leads to aneurysm formation. The phenotype of patients with Marfan syndrome typically includes a tall stature, high palate, joint hypermobility, eye lens disorders, mitral valve prolapse, and aortic aneurysms. The aortic wall is weakened by fragmentation of elastic fibers and deposition of extensive amounts of mucopolysaccharides (a process previously called cystic medial degeneration or cystic medial necrosis). Patients with Marfan syndrome have a mutation in the fibrillin gene located on the long arm of chromosome 15. The traditionally held view is that abnormal fibrillin in the extracellular matrix decreases connective tissue strength in the aortic wall and produces abnormal elasticity, which predisposes the aorta to dilatation from wall tension caused by left ventricular ejection impulses. More recent evidence, however, shows that the abnormal fibrillin causes degeneration of the aortic wall matrix by increasing the activity of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β). Between 75 and 85% of patients with Marfan syndrome have dilatation of the ascending aorta and annuloaortic ectasia (dilatation of the aortic sinuses and annulus). Such aortic abnormalities are the most common cause of death among patients with Marfan syndrome. Marfan syndrome also is frequently associated with aortic dissection.
The following is NOT true regarding anastomotic pseudoaneurysms:
Anastomotic pseudoaneurysms can be caused by technical problems or by deterioration of the native aortic tissue, graft material, or suture. Commonly, they occur in patients with Marfan syndrome. Tissue deterioration usually is related to either progressive degenerative disease or infection. Improvements in sutures, graft materials, and surgical techniques have decreased the incidence of thoracic aortic pseudoaneurysms. Should thoracic aortic pseudoaneurysms occur, they typically require expeditious surgical or other intervention because they are associated with a high incidence of morbidity and rupture.
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