Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
What are the symptoms of a thoracic aortic aneurysm?
Most people with thoracic aortic aneurysms don't have symptoms. But symptoms may occur if the aneurysm gets bigger and puts pressure on surrounding organs.
Symptoms are most evident when the aneurysm occurs where the aorta curves down (aortic arch). They may include:
Chest pain, generally described as deep and aching or throbbing. This is the most common symptom.
A cough or shortness of breath if the aneurysm is in the area of the lungs.
Trouble swallowing, or pain while swallowing.
The symptoms are similar to the symptoms of other problems that cause chest or belly pain. These problems include coronary artery disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and peptic ulcer disease.
If an aortic aneurysm bursts, or ruptures, there is sudden, severe pain, an extreme drop in blood pressure, and signs of shock. Without immediate treatment, it can quickly lead to death.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.