Characterization of the Rate of Aortic Dilation in Young Patients with Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Adam P. Wheeler, Ziyi Yang, Timothy M. Cordes, Larry W. Markham, Benjamin J. Landis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Longitudinal changes in aortic diameters of young patients with thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) have not been completely described, particularly over long periods of follow-up. This retrospective study sought to characterize the rates of proximal aortic dilation in young patients, identify risk factors for TAA progression, and evaluate the predictive utility of early echocardiographic follow-up. Inclusion criteria were: (1) TAA or TAA-predisposing genetic diagnosis, (2) age < 25 years at first echocardiogram, and (3) minimum of 5 years of echocardiographic follow-up. Proximal aortic diameters were measured by echocardiography and Z-scores calculated to index for body surface area. TAA severity was classified as no TAA (Z-score < 2), mild (Z-score 2 to 4), or at least moderate (Z-score > 4). Among 141 included patients, mean age at first echocardiogram was 7.3 ± 3.5 years. Mean follow-up duration was 9.8 ± 3.5 years. Fifty five patients had a genetic syndrome, and 38 of the non-syndromic patients had bicuspid aortic valve (BAV). The rate of aortic dilation was significantly higher at the ascending aorta than other aortic segments. BAV and age > 10 years at first echocardiogram were associated with increased rate of ascending aorta dilation. At the ascending aorta, over 25% of patients had categorical increase in TAA severity between first and last echocardiograms, and such patients demonstrated higher rate of dilation within their first 2 years of follow-up. These longitudinal findings highlight progressive ascending aorta dilation in young patients, which may worsen around adolescence. This may help determine timing of follow-up and target ages for clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric Cardiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Aortopathy
  • Bicuspid aortic valve
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Thoracic aortic aneurysm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of the Rate of Aortic Dilation in Young Patients with Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this