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By John W. Hallett, Jr., MD

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

Aortitis is caused by several connective tissue disorders (eg, Takayasu arteritis, giant cell arteritis, ankylosing spondylitis, relapsing polychondritis) and infections (eg, bacterial endocarditis, syphilis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, fungal infections). 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 aneurysms. Pathogenesis, symptoms and signs, diagnosis, and treatment differ by etiology.

* This is the Professional Version. *