The aorta is the large artery that leaves the heart and provides oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Many diseases and conditions can cause the aorta to dilate, or widen, or can cause aortic dissection, a tear in the aorta that increases the risk for future life-threatening events.
These conditions can lead to aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection, both of which require surgery and include:
- atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- genetic conditions (such as Marfan Syndrome)
- connective tissue disorders (such as Ehler-Danlos disorder, polychondritis, scleroderma, osteogenesis imperfecta, polycystic kidney disease, and Turners Syndrome)