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American Family Children's Hospital
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What Does a Thoraco-Abdominal Aneurysm Look Like?

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(608) 263-8915 or
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These are anatomic illustrations of an actual patient who presented with respiratory failure because the trachea (windpipe) (see Figure 1 below) was being compressed by a very large thoracoabdominal aneurysm (see Figure 2 below).
 
This patient survived the surgery without paraplegia or renal failure and returned to her home (see Figure 3 below).
 
Figure 1
 
The parts of the aorta and the branch vessels off the aorta are labeled. The diaphragm separates the thoracic and abdominal portions of the aneurysm.
 
thoraco-abdominal aneurysm
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Figure 2 and CT Scan Image
 
CT of a thoraco-abdominal aneurysm
 
 
 
The accompanying CAT scan image from the patient's initial hospital presentation demonstrates the relationship of the trachea to the aneurysm and other thoracic structures (see CT scan image at left and figure below).
 
 
 
  
thoraco-abdominal aneurysm
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Figure 3
 
The last illustration shows the extent of replacement of the aorta with a Dacron tube graft (new pipe) and how the visceral and renal vessels were reattached. The aorta was replaced from the left subclavian artery to the iliac arteries.
 
repaired thoraco-abdominal aneurysm