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abdominal aorta
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abdominal aorta

A doctor told me a couple of years ago that i had a heart murmur.  Didn't go through any tests. Went in for hip and back problems and had x-rays and with-in the results that were sent to me i says: "Dense clarifictions of the abdominal aorta."  Wondering what this meant and if i have to have this checked on.
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The aorta, is the biggest artery in the body and runs down the front of the spine,  Usually, minor calcification of this artery is nothing to worry about. It is very, very common in senior citizens and is nothing whatsoever to worry about. It only becomes an issue if the aorta forms an aneurysm or a "swollen section that is weakened (called a blow-out)". Again, moderate degrees of blow-out are of minor consequence but if the diameter of this blow-out is more than say 4cm to 5cm, then a doctor would start getting worried because that aneurysm can burst. If the stretching of the artery is that severe then you will need to see a vascular surgeon and he will do an examination. He will check out whether there is any need to take any further action upon examination. The only way of treating this if there is a possibility of rupture is through surgery.

Speak to your doctor or cardiologist about the results of your x-rays.  If he/she finds the results troubling, they will order further tests to determine the extent of the abnormality.  If the calcification is considered non-threatening, then you will likely be asked to return for follow-up tests annually to monitor the progression (if any) of the calcification.   With proper monitoring, treatment is available and prognosis is good.

Be glad this was found as it was.  You are in the perfect position to be proactive.  To be sure, the calcification likely is the cause or at least it likely exacerbates the pain in your back and hip.  This indicates that the blockage may be reaching a point where action is required to restore proper blood flow to your extremities.  

You will have a follow-up with your doctor soon.  Discuss these findings and determine a plan of action.  Knowing what the problem is makes your prognosis a very positive one.

Good luck, and good health.
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Avatar_f_tn
I so appreciate your information.  A question for you- I am unclear as to whether or not severe (80-90%) calcification of the aorta can lead to an aneurysm.  Can it?  I ask because I posted a very similar question about my 82 year old mother who went in about 2 months ago for a stent placement in the femoral artery due to blockage and the vascular surgeon went in only to find he could not even get past the aorta due to the severity of the clacification.  We were told short of major Aortic  bypass surgery, they could only treat it medically.  Which at the moment they are, but really are they.  She is already on 10 different drugs relating to the heart.  So my question to you is, down the line are we looking at a rupture of the aorta because of the severity of the calcification?

Thanks so very much for you advice.
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