Two months ago I had a calcium score done, and the report included an "impression" of ascending aortic diameter of 4 cm. I spent HOURS and HOURS researching aortic (thoracic) aneurysms in online cardiology journals, kept reading Dr. Elafteriades' study over and over about athletes ...
and in the process learned that the CT scan can "grossly overestimate" aortic diameter!!! Due to medical "politics" and my cardiologist being on vacation, there was a delay in getting an MRA authorized. Anxiety was overwelming because I've been doing heavy straining weight lifting since I was a teenager (years and years ago) and it is MY LIFE !!!!!
Read that CT can over-estimate by one half centimeter !!
Hospital never faxed MRA results to my doctor so I needlessly waited FOUR WEEKS for the results, meanwhile having seriously downgraded my weight workouts to piddly-do.
The result? 3.4 cm !!!!!!!!! I'm good to go !
If any of you have newly been dx'd with AA based on ONE image of a CT scan, especially if it was for calcium scoring, GET AN MRA !! MRA is 3-D, not slices like a CT. Slices have margin of error; 3-D image does not. What really freaked me was that THREE doctors had read the CT scan and all came back with the 4 cm. But if the slice was taken at the wrong angle, then the only way to read it is as the measurement from the wrong angle! DANG !
There IS hope for people in the gray area (around 4 cm). Get that MRA !!!!!
It's an MRA -- this is a type of MRI, except it specifically images the blood vessels. The "A" stands for angiography. Can't get better than an angiography for measuring blood vessels. Doctors often just tell their patients it's an MRI to avoid confusion. You'll be in the same kind of tube, head and all with just legs sticking out.
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