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Cardiol Clin. 1999 Nov;17(4):615-35; vii.

Natural history, pathogenesis, and etiology of thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections.

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Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


The natural history of thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections is diverse, reflecting a broad spectrum of etiologies which include increasing aortic size, hypertension, and genetic factors. The pathogenesis is related to defects or degeneration in structural integrity of the adventitia, not the media, which is required for aneurysm formation. The ascending and descending aorta appear to have separate underlying disease processor that lead to a weakened vessel wall and an increased susceptibility for dissection. Etiologic factors for aortic aneurysms and dissections are multifactorial, reflecting genetic, environmental, and physiologic influences.

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