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Dilation of Aortic Root 4.1 cm
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Dilation of Aortic Root 4.1 cm

I am beyond words to describe how scared I am. I was having some tests done for possible myasthenia Gravis. In one of the test CT of thorax the findings came back that "There is soft tieeue noted in teh anterior mediastinum which appears to be triangular in shape most consistent with thymus. It measures approx 1.2 x 1.4 cm. The aortic root although appears to ectatic and enlarged measuring up to 4.1 cm. There appears to be a small calcification in the region of teh aortic vavle. The descending thoracic aorta appears unremarkable. The lungs demonstrate minimal scarring in teh lung apices. The lungs otherwise appear well aerated. There are no nodules notes. There are no effusions."  

1.5 weeks prior I had a echocardiogram and it showed my aortic room was 28mm and normal size. The echocardio gram says "the aortic vavle is bicupsid. Leaflet excursion is preserved. Overall, there is a trace to mild aortic incompetence.

I am so nervous that in 1.5 weeks my aortic root went from normal to 4.1cm. I had a CT angiogram today and the tech said yes the aortic root was about double what it should be. He didn' mention anythign with soft tissue.

HELP.... There is family history of heart disease, but I am only 35 female. I don't drink, smoke, drugs, NOTHING. I'm vegetarian though I don't eat the best as I love fried foods.

Can I exercise? jog? etc. What type of lifespan can one have if they have to have surgery. Plus, what is the down time after surgery before I can get back to work. I also have 3 children (5,3, 18 months).




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When the aortic root reaches 5 cm or greater in size, it is recommended that patients undergo surgical repair of the enlarged aorta.  This defect can also be surgically repaired. When the aorta root becomes larger than 4 cm it is usually referred to as an anuerysm.

The underlying cause is extensive and you can quickly eliminate based on your medical history, tests, symptoms, etc

QUOTE: "Many diseases and conditions, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), hypertension, genetic conditions (such as Marfan Syndrome), a connective tissue disorder (such as Ehler-Danlos disorder, polychondritis, scleroderma, osteogenesis imperfecta, polycystic kidney disease, and Turners Syndrome) and injury, can cause the aorta to dilate (widen) or dissect (tear), placing you at increased risk for future life-threatening events. Those with disease of the aorta should be treated by an experienced team of cardiovascular specialists and surgeons. Connective tissue provides support to many structures within the body, such as the heart, blood vessels, eyes, bones, nervous system and lungs, therefore, these patients require a multi-disciplinary approach to their care and long-term follow-up".

Exercise that increases pressures is not recommended for individuals with an anuersym.  System blood pressure should be kept under control.  Although your aorta root is estimated to be a borderline anuersym you probably should get a doctor's opinion.  (S)he has your medical history, test results, etc.  

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I also have a BAV and recently had a CT and it said something similar about the thymus tissue. My doctor never mentioned anything about it, so I'm assuming it's normal. As for the different readings from the echo and CT, I think it is probably just that - an incosistency. It is my understanding that the accuracy of an echo is very dependent on the tech doing it, whereas a CT will be more cosistent and accurate in certain findings such as measurements. I doubt that your aortic root grew in 1.5 weeks, but rather it is a difference in the measurements in each test. However, 4.1cm is enlarged, but from what I have read on this site, 5cm is the magic # before they treat with surgery. My cardiologist told me that most people with BAV do have a larger aortic root than normal, but when it starts to increase in size is when you should worry.
As for the "trace to mild incompetence" that sounds good to me considering I was told at age 39 that I have moderate regurgitation. From what I understand, trace or mild regurgitation of any valve is not considered a problem. I know how you feel though, when I read my echo and CT report that said I had mild regurg of both the mitral and tricuspid valve and moderate regurg of the bicuspid valve along with a slightly enlarged aortic root - I freaked out a bit. Now that I understand things better, I'm feeling much better with the diagnosis.

As for as lifespan and surgery, I'm not sure if you are referring to a valve replacement or the aortic root, but both can be normal and some people have these things for life without ever having to have surgery. It just depends on the person and if things are changing (getting worse).

I know, as a mother, how scary it is to learn you have something wrong with you. All I could think was, "No, I have to be here for my kids!" (2 and 4 yrs)  I am having another echo done before getting a stress echo next Thurs along with having both of my kids echoed, as I have learned that BAVD is very familial and I would just feel better knowing. I am no expert, but I would suggest going to the BAV Foundation website. It originally scared me reading it, but now I am happy to have found this site as it answers many questions and encourages me to be as proactive as possible. One thing I do worry with you is why has your doctor not reviewed any of your test result findings with you?
Best of luck, I hope this helps some.
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