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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2014 May;45(5):805-11. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezt597. Epub 2014 Jan 14.

Gender-related changes in aortic geometry throughout life.

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  • 1Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Aortic geometry changes throughout life are not well defined. This investigation delineates aortic geometry across the adult age spectrum and determines the gender-related influence of aging on aortic morphometry.

METHODS:

Contrast-enhanced computed tomography scans of all aortic segments in 195 subjects (94 women, 101 men, average age 57 ± 20 years) free of vascular disease were analysed. Lengths and diameters of each aortic segment as well as width, height and tortuosity of the thoracic aorta were compared between both genders.

RESULTS:

Aortic diameters and lengths were larger in men than women (P < 0.001); however, after adjustment for body surface area (BSA), the ascending aorta and aortic arch revealed greater diameters in women than in men (P = 0.001 and P = 0.011, respectively). All aortic segment dimensions increased in a similar pattern with age for both genders, except the ascending aorta diameter, which increased +3.4% (P < 0.001) per decade in women and +2.6% (P < 0.001) per decade in men. Owing to more dynamic ascending aortic growth in women, absolute diameters were similar in both genders at an older age (>70 years old: 3.4 ± 0.3 vs 3.5 ± 0.3 cm, P = 0.241).

CONCLUSIONS:

Female gender is associated with smaller aortic dimensions, but only at a young age. The dynamics of aortic growth throughout life are greater in women than in men. Gender-related changes in aortic geometry provide a hypothesis for the predominance of aortic dissection in young male patients, which normalizes between genders with increasing age.

KEYWORDS:

Aortic dissection; Gender differences; Imaging

PMID:
24431164
[PubMed - in process]
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