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Intermountain Heart InstituteHeart Health A-ZPenetrating Aortic Ulcer (PAU) and Aortic Intramural Hematoma (AIH)

Penetrating Aortic Ulcer (PAU) and Aortic Intramural Hematoma (AIH)

Penetrating Aortic Ulcer and Aortic Intramural Hematoma

These two conditions are irregularities of the aortic wall that can develop into aortic aneurysms or dissections. Patients usually complain of chest or back pain that is sometimes unusual or difficult to describe.

Penetrating aortic ulcer is an area that erodes into the lining of the aorta. The wall becomes weakened and may form a localized “outpouching” (aneurysm). This weakened area is also prone to dissection, as the walls of the aorta can tear and separate.

Intramural hematoma is a bruising of the aortic wall. This can occur during trauma or may be due to spontaneous bleeding within the wall of the aorta. This process also weakens the aorta, leading to aneurysm formation or dissection.

Penetrating aortic ulcer and intramural hematoma are associated with:

 

Diagnostic Tests for PAU and AIH

These two conditions are usually diagnosed by CT scanning or MRI in an individual that complains of chest or back pain that is sometimes unusual or difficult to categorize.

  • Cardiac CT

    Cardiac CT is a test that creates a 3D image by combining x-rays of thin cross-sections of your heart (and vessels).

  • Cardiac MRI

    Cardiac MRI is a test that uses powerful magnets to create pictures of the heart and coronary arteries.

Treatments for PAU and AIH

Treatment varies and may range from simple observation with repeat scans, endovascular stenting to seal the weakened area of the aorta, or open surgery to replace the diseased aorta.  Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you.

  • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Repair

    Thoracic aortic aneurysm repair is an open-chest surgery that repairs a portion of the aorta, the main blood vessel that carries blood from your heart to your brain and vital organs.

  • Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair (TEVAR)

    TEVAR is a less invasive surgery that uses a stent to repair a portion of the aorta, the main blood vessel that carries blood from your heart to your vital organs.

Services and Programs

Service and programs at Intermountain Heart Institute that help patients with aortic aneurysm

  • Center for Aortic Disease

    The Center for Aortic Disease focuses on the care of patients with aortic disease using the most and advanced surgeries and less invasive repairs.

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