Role of Computed Tomography in Assessment of the Thoracic Aorta

Nandini M. Meyersohn, Khristine Ghemigian, Michael D. Shapiro, Shimoli V. Shah, Brian B. Ghoshhajra, Maros Ferencik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Thoracic aortic disease is increasing in prevalence and can result in serious morbidity and mortality. Computed tomography (CT) angiography is an important imaging modality for assessment of thoracic aortic pathology due to wide availability, rapid acquisition, reproducibility, superior spatial and temporal resolution, and capability for 3D image post-processing. CT is the preferred imaging modality in the acute setting to rapidly identify patients with acute aortic syndromes including dissection, intramural hematoma, and penetrating aortic ulcer. CT also plays an important role in post-procedural surveillance of the thoracic aorta for early and late complications from open or endovascular repair. Incidentally detected thoracic aortic aneurysms and congenital aortic anomalies such as coarctation can be thoroughly characterized and followed over time for potential elective intervention. Drawbacks of CT include exposure to radiation and iodinated contrast media; however, recent strategies for dose reduction and contrast optimization have significantly decreased these risks. Electrocardiogram (ECG)-gated CT angiography provides additional information about the aortic root, coronary arteries, and other cardiac structures without motion artifacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number35
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 23 2015


  • Aortic anatomy
  • Computed tomography
  • Computed tomography angiography
  • Electrocardiogram-gated CT
  • Thoracic aorta
  • Thoracic aortic aneurysm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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