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Find information on medical topics, symptoms, drugs, procedures, news and more, written for the health care professional.


By Mark A. Farber, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery and Radiology, Division of Vascular Surgery; Program Director in Vascular Surgery; Director, University of North Carolina; University of North Carolina Aortic Network
Thaniyyah S. Ahmad, MD, MPH, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of North Carolina

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Patient Education

Aortitis is inflammation of the aorta, sometimes causing aneurysm or occlusion.

Aortitis is rare, but potentially life threatening. Its reported incidence is 1 to 3 per one million/year.

Aortitis is caused by

It is also a feature of Cogan syndrome (inflammatory keratitis, vestibular and auditory dysfunction, and aortitis).

Inflammation usually involves all layers of the aorta (intima, media, adventitia) and may lead to occlusion of the aorta or its branches or weakening of the arterial wall, resulting in an aortic aneurysm. Pathogenesis, symptoms and signs, diagnosis, and treatment differ by etiology. However, the general principle for treatment is to treat the underlying disorder.