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Dilated Aorta


I am a 33 year old male.  I just came back from getting an echo cardiogram and a stress test done.  I later found out that the echo results showed what the cardiologist called a "dilated aorta" measuring between 3.9 and 4.0 cm.  He said, given my height 5'10" and weight 177 lbs, normal measurements should be below 3.8cm.  I am slightly worried because i live a healthy life style, eat well and exercise regularly.  I usually run between 10 and 12 miles a week and also play soccer.  
The doctor recommended and MRI as a follow on test, but he told me not to be worried at all and to continue with my exercise routine until we get the MRI done.  Reading some stuff online on how to treat aneurysm, i am concerned that they will put me on some kind of beta blocker or some other type blood pressure medicine.  I am also concerned because i am only 33, and i don't even want to think about the possibility of a surgery.  I am hoping that the MRI results show a smaller size aorta, but if they don't what should i expect?
3 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm a 59 year old male. My height and weight are very close to yours. I had open heart surgery last November for an ascending aortic aneurysm, which measured 4.8 cm to begin with with an echo, then 5.3 with a follow up CT scan. The actual size turned out to be 5.8 the surgeon told me. Bottom line is this, it is VERY important to control your blood pressure. With all the exercising you do, I'm guessing your BP is probably okay, and you may not have to take any meds at all. But, even if it's borderline (like 130/90, you will need to begin beta blocker treatment to keep it low. That's the key in keeping the aneurysm from getting larger. Your doc would probably like to see your BP around 110/70. You are really blessed to discover this now. With good BP control, you might be able to avoid surgery in the furture. You will need to keep check on this and have tests annually though. Hope all goes well.
Avatar universal
Thank you for sharing your experience.  I've also read some cases on this forum of people whose echo tests revealed a dilated aorta and follow on tests such as CT or MRI show a smaller/normal size.  I am really hoping for that to be my situation when i go for the MRI.  I've also read similar posts suggesting that echo tests can yield inaccurate results if the heart muscle has thickened which is the case for runners such as myself.  Right now the doctor's office is trying to get the MRI approved through my insurance.  BTW during the stress test my BP was 110/70 at rest.  The entire test was successful meaning the doctor's didn't find any skipped heart beats or palpitations. The doctor told me not to worry, he didn't even feel i should go for a CT test due to the radiation, and he said to continue to exercise (running and soccer).  
Avatar universal
Click my screenname and read my prior posts about ARBs and ACE inhibitors with respect to aortic dilation.  You sound like the ideal candidate.  I don't bother typing too much because I don't know if people care to read, so if you read my old posts and are interested in learning more, send me a private message.

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