Canada Vascular

Aortic Aneurysms (TAA & AAA)

Background

Diagnosis

Screening

Treatment Options

Common Questions & Answers

Glossary

Bibliography

 

 


Glossary

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA): a bulge that occurs in the part of the aorta that passes through the abdomen (stomach area). The bulge (enlarging and thinning) of the aorta is due to a weakening in the arterial wall.

Aneurysm: a bulge or "ballooning" (enlarging and thinning) of a weakened area of a blood vessel.

Aneurysm Rupture: a tear in the vessel wall near or at the location of the bulging or "ballooning" of the weakened area of the blood vessel.

Angiography/Angiogram: an X-ray method that uses contrast (dye) injected into the bloodstream to see blood flow through blood vessels. This type of image is called an "angiogram."

Aorta: the largest artery in the body which has its origin at the heart. It gives off branches to the extremities, neck and major organs for the purpose of supplying oxygenated blood.

Aortic Arch: the curved portion between the ascending and descending parts of the aorta; it begins as a continuation of the ascending aorta posterior to the sternal angle, runs posteriorly and slightly to the left as it passes over the root of the left lung, and becomes the descending aorta as it reaches and begins to course along the vertebral column; it gives rise to the brachiocephalic trunk, the left common carotid and left subclavian arteries.

Ascending Aorta: the part of the aorta prior to the aortic arch from which arise the coronary arteries.

Contrast (dye): a liquid dye injected into the bloodstream to show blood vessels under X-ray or CT scan.

CT Scan: a series of computerized X-rays that form a picture of an aneurysm. Also known as a "CAT scan."

Delivery Catheter: a long tube-like device that assists in the placement of the stent graft within the blood vessels.

Descending Aorta: a part of the aorta, further divided into the thoracic aorta and the abdominal aorta.

Edema: a condition in which the body tissues contain an excessive amount of tissue fluid.

Endoleak: blood flow into the abdominal aortic aneurysm after placement of an endovascular graft.

Endovascular: inside or within a blood vessel.

Endovascular Graft: a graft placed inside a diseased vessel without the use of open surgical techniques. The graft makes a new path through which the blood flows.

Endovascular Repair of an AAA: placement of an endovascular graft to seal off (exclude) an aneurysm. Instead of making a large incision in the abdomen, the doctor makes a small cut near each hip (near the crease between the abdomen and thigh) to get to the femoral arteries (blood vessels). Through these small cuts, a graft (woven fabric tube) is inserted through the femoral arteries. The graft makes a new path through which the blood flows.

Endovascular Repair of a TAA: placement of an endovascular graft to seal off (exclude) an aneurysm. Instead of making a large incision in the chest, the doctor makes a small cut near each hip (near the crease between the abdomen and thigh) to get to the femoral arteries (blood vessels). Through these small cuts, a graft (woven fabric tube) is inserted through the femoral arteries. The graft makes a new path through which the blood flows.

Endovascular Treatment: a less invasive way (compared to traditional open surgery) of treating unhealthy arteries using catheters, wire guides, stents, stent-grafts, etc. placed into blood vessels through small holes or incisions made in the skin.

Excluded/Exclusion: shutting off or removing from the main part.

Femoral Arteries: two blood vessels (one in each leg) that carry blood to the thigh region of each leg. Doctors can use the femoral arteries as a path to reach the iliac arteries and the aorta.

Fluoroscopy: a real-time X-ray image that is viewed on a monitor.

Iliac Arteries: the two large blood vessels that connect the lower end of the aorta to the femoral arteries in each leg.

Iliac Leg(s): the parts of the graft that extend from the main body (in the aorta) to the iliac arteries.

Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS): an image created on a monitor through the use of high-frequency sound waves from inside the blood vessel.

IVUS (Intravascular Ultrasound) Catheter: an ultrasound probe on a delivery catheter placed inside your arteries to see the vessel walls and measure diameters and lengths of your arteries.

Main Body: the part of the graft that is placed in the aorta.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): a way of creating detailed pictures of the body. The MRI scanner uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create the pictures.

Occlusion: blockage of a blood vessel.

Open Surgical Repair of an AAA: a type of surgery performed to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm. To reach the aneurysm, a doctor makes a cut through the abdomen or the side of the patient. The doctor repairs the aorta by replacing the aneurysm section with a fabric tube called a "graft." The "graft" is sewn into place and acts as a replacement blood vessel.

Open Surgical Repair of a TAA: a type of surgery performed to repair a thoracic aortic aneurysm. To reach the aneurysm, a doctor makes a cut through the patient’s breastbone or side of the chest. The doctor repairs the aorta by replacing the aneurysm section with a fabric tube called a "graft." The "graft" is sewn into place and acts as a replacement blood vessel.

Radiation: a form of energy that allows your doctor to see blood vessel structures and other anatomy inside your body; X-rays and CT scans use radiation to "take pictures" of the inside of your body.

Renal Arteries: two blood vessels attached to the aorta that carry blood to the kidneys.

Rupture: a tear in the blood vessel wall that causes serious internal bleeding.

Perigraft Flow: blood flow around the woven graft material of the tube-shaped device.

Sheath: a long plastic tube that contains the endovascular graft. The sheath is advanced inside the blood vessel to the aneurysm site, and the graft is positioned in place.

Stents: metal parts of the endovascular graft that provide support and hold it in place.

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm: an aneurysm in the part of the aorta that runs through a person's chest.

Thrombotic: related to, caused by or of the nature of a blood clot that obstructs a blood vessel or a cavity of the heart.

Thrombus: a blood clot that obstructs a blood vessel or a cavity of the heart.

Ultrasound: a way to create pictures of parts of the body using high frequency sound waves.

Wire Guide: long, flexible wire that is placed in an artery to track a delivery catheter and other endovascular accessories to implant an endovascular graft.


Bibliography

  1. Kichikawa K, Department of Radiology, Nara Medical University, Kashihara, Nara, Japan. SIR Annual Meeting Plenary Session, "Comparative Study with Home-Made Stent Graft vs. Zenith Stent Graft for AAA".
  2. Texas Heart Insitute Journal - Endovascular Exclusion of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysism: Initial Experience with Stent-Grafts in Cardiology Practice … those source documents include:
  3. Ernst CB. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. N Engl J Med 1993, 328:1167-72
  4. Parodi JC, Palmaz JC, Barone HD. Transfemoral Intraluminal Greaft Implantation for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. Ann Vasc Surg 1991;5:491-9.
  5. Zarins CK,Harris EJ Jr. Operative Repair for Aortic Aneurysms: The Gold Standard. J Endovasc Surg 1997;4:232-41.
  6. Zarins CK, White RA, Schwarten D, Kinney E, Diethrich EB, Hodgson KJ, et al. AneuRx Stent Graft Versus Open Surgical Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms: Multicenter Prospective Clinical Trial. J Vascular Surg 1999;29:292-308.
  7. Blum U, Voshage G, Lammer J, Beyersdorf F, Tollner D, Kretschmer G, et al Endoluminal Stent-Grafts for Infrarenal Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. N Engl J Med 1997; 336:13-20.
  8. White GH, Yu, W, May J, Waugh R, Chaufour X, Harris JP, et al. Three-year Experience with the White-Yu Endo-vascular GAD Graft for Transluminal Repair of Aorticand Iliac Aneurysms. J Endovasc Surg 1997;4:124-36.
  9. Sparks A, Johnson P, Meyer M. Imaging of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. Amer Family Physician April 15, 2002
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