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Physicians: Do You Have a Patient at Risk?

An thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) may not cause symptoms, making an initial diagnosis difficult. Questioning patients about their lifestyle and family medical history can improve the chances of early detection. Because family medical history is important, cardiovascular genetic screenings are also available in the Aortic Center and include recommendations on course of action.

Screening for a Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Screenings should be considered for patients with certain risk factors, such as:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Advanced age
  • Current or former tobacco use
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Family history of TAA
  • Connective tissue disorders such as Marfan syndrome
  • Syphilis
  • Trauma, such as injuries from falls or motor vehicle accidents

Screenings should also be considered for patients with symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the jaw, neck, upper back, or shoulder
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing, hoarseness, or difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Swelling in the neck

A thoracic aortic aneurysm may appear in a routine chest x-ray. TAAs should be further evaluated by a CT scan, intravascular ultrasound, diagnostic angiogram or transesophageal echocardiogram.

Imaging services provided on-site at Outpatient Services​ offer patients convenience and prompt diagnostic results that can detect the presence of an aortic aneurysm.





Thoracic Aortic Emergent Patient Transfer | For patients presenting with acute aortic dissections and other thoracic aortic emergencies, call our Patient Transfer Center at 214.820.6444 from anywhere across the DFW Metroplex and beyond.

The team of surgeons on our medical staff, along with our nursing staff, will go into immediate action to transport the patient to either Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano or Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. More Information »​​