Thoracic aortic aneurysm

  • IASbaba
  • December 17, 2022
  • 0
Science and Technology
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Context: Grant Wahl, a US sportswriter covering the World Cup, died in Qatar. The autopsy found that Wahl had an “ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm”, a weakening of the blood vessel that often goes undetected.

About Thoracic aortic aneurysm:

  • An aneurysm is a localized weakening of the wall of a blood vessel, which causes the vessel to bulge in that area, as a result of which the vessel may widen to more than 50 per cent of its usual diameter.
  • Aneurysms are more commonly seen in arteries than in veins.
  • The aorta is the main artery that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body and it is also the body’s largest blood vessel.
  • An aortic aneurysm is a weakening and bulging in a portion of the aorta.
  • Thoracic refers to that section of the blood vessel that passes through the chest.
  • Aneurysms occur more often in the portion of the aorta that runs through the abdomen rather than the chest (causing what is called “abdominal aortic aneurysm”).
  • The vessel may ultimately burst or separate, triggering a bleeding rush that can be life-threatening, and potentially lethal.

Causes and Symptoms

  • degenerative disease that causes breakdown of the aortic wall tissue;
  • genetic disorders such as Marfan syndrome;
  • It is a genetic condition that affects connective tissue and can damage the blood vessels and cause aneurysms of the aorta
  • family history;
  • vasculitis, or inflammation of the arteries; and
  • atherosclerosis, or the build-up of plaque on the walls of the artery.
  • In rare cases, an infection can also trigger an aneurysm.


  • Treatment may include monitoring the size and rate of growth of the bulge through an MRI or CT, and managing risk factors or a surgery.

Source:Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following statements:

  1. Biofilms can form on medical implants within human tissues.
  2. Biofilms can form on food and food processing surfaces.
  3. Biofilms can exhibit antibiotic resistance.

Which of the statements given above are correct? (2022)

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3


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