Merck Manual

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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 Jun 2022| Content last modified Jun 2022
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION

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.

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, open surgery to put in a bypass graft or placement of a stent graft through an artery may be necessary.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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