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COMMON AORTA PROBLEM

ANEURYSMS OR BALLOONING OF THE BODY’S BIGGEST BLOOD VESSEL ARE COMMON, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Repairing the aorta, the body’s biggest blood vessel, from the inside instead of an open operation, is looking to achieve the best result, a national study led by Julie Frieschlag, chief of surgery at Johns Hopkins, has found.  Frieschlag describes why this issue is so important.

FREISCHLAG:   A lot of people get aneurysms.  It tends to occur in someone usually between 60 and 70 years of age, more common in men than in women.  We wait until they get to be 5.5 centimeters.  That’s another study we did in the VA showing there was no benefit in treating them smaller.  A normal aorta is 2 centimeters, the size of your thumb, and once it gets to 5.5 centimeters it needs repair so that they don’t rupture.  The risk of rupture of aneurysms less than 5.5 is practically zero, and you’re able to follow patients with ultrasound to see whether or not they grow.    :31

As more people age into their eighties and beyond, treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm is becoming increasingly important.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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