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Aortitis

By

Mark A. Farber

, MD, FACS, University of North Carolina;


Federico E Parodi

, MD, University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Nov 2020| Content last modified Nov 2020
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Aortitis is inflammation of the aorta.

The aorta is the largest artery of the body. It receives oxygen-rich blood from the heart and distributes it to the body through smaller arteries that branch off of it. The inflammation sometimes causes an aneurysm Aortic Aneurysms The aorta, which is about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter, is the largest artery of the body. It receives oxygen-rich blood from the left ventricle and distributes it to all of the body... read more or blockage (occlusion) of the aorta.

Aortitis is caused by

Inflammation usually involves all layers of the aorta and may lead to blockage of the aorta or its branches or weakening of the arterial wall, resulting in aneurysms.

Blood tests that show increased levels of inflammation in the body (elevated C-reactive protein level, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate) can support a diagnosis of aortitis.

Treatment differs depending on the cause of the inflammation, for example, antibiotics are given if infection is the cause or anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive drugs are given if connective tissue or vasculitic disorders are the cause. If the aortitis has caused irreversible damage, surgery or placement of a stent graft may be necessary.

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