Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Thoracic Aortic Disease

The most common thoracic aortic disease is an aneurysm. A weakness can develop anywhere in the aorta causing a thoracic aortic aneurysm. Thoracic aortic aneurysms involve weaknesses in both the abdomen and chest.

The causes include both congenital and lifestyle conditions, such as:

  • Family history and genetic factors
  • Abnormal aortic valve
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Atherosclerosis (narrowing of an artery due to the buildup of fatty plaque)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)


The following tests may help your physician diagnose thoracic aortic disease.

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Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is a nationally recognized destination for those who require highly specialized cardiovascular care.
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