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Familial Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection

Thoracic aortic disease may run in the family. About 20 percent of the time, individuals with an unexplained thoracic aortic aneurysm or dissection have another family member who also has thoracic aortic disease. It is very important for parents and families to be evaluated for familial aortic aneurysm and dissection syndrome.

Diagnosis can be challenging because symptoms and age of onset can vary, even among family members. Some individuals with familial aortic aneurysm syndrome have associated heart defects such as a patent ductus arteriosus. Others have skin findings with a lacy pattern on the skin known as livedo reticularis. There are genetic tests that may be performed in order to diagnose certain types of familial throracic aortic aneurysm and dissection syndromes.

Our Marfan Syndrome Clinic has expertise in the multidisciplinary evaluation of patients with Marfan syndrome, Loeys-Dietz syndrome, familial thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection syndrome, unexplained aortic dissection, vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and other related disorders.

To make an appointment with a Washington University heart or vascular specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call 855.925.0631.