Two years later. . . .

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thos_huxley

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Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
25
Sooooo, it's been nearly two years since I last posted here, asking for advice about my aortic aneurysm/aortic insufficiency. Since then I've moved out to western Kansas and have found a competent cardiologist. I've also had two CT scans. Your input about that is requested.

I'm evidently not close to needing surgical procedures, which is what worries me. While living in Illinois, my cardiologist was a resident at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago. Up there, the routine was a cardiac MRA every year. My last visit into the tunnel showed my aortic root at 4.8cm, having grown from 4.2cm over a period of eight years, and from 4.6 to 4.8 in two, which prompted me to consult a thoracic surgeon. So, that was a bit concerning, nicht wahr?

After visiting with a new cardiologist in Kansas after my move, a CT scan was scheduled. I tried to get an MRI/MRA, but was told the only place that was available was in Kansas City--a 6-hour drive for me. Besides, the doctor informed me CT scans were more accurate than MRI's. In any event, that CT and a subsequent scan produced aortic root measurements of 4.5cm. You can imagine my confusion.

So, questions. Are CT scans more accurate than MRA scans in measuring aortic diameters and other factors? Even if not, and my current condition has been correctly observed, how likely is it that my aneurysm has shrunk three centimeters in just a year? Granted, I'm retired now, enjoying it, with far less stress than previously, and I still swim 3x/week. Still, at this point I don't know which measurement to believe, and that worries me immensely.

Your sage advice/information is appreciated in advance.

Huxley
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat, Guru and Merkintologist
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
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10,738
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Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
I'm evidently not close to needing surgical procedures
that's good news ... so watch and wait ... all you can do is just put it out of your mind and move along with daily life
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CT scans more accurate than MRA scans in measuring aortic diameters and other factors

my understanding is that CT scans are of similar accuracy for measurements. CT is faster and lower cost and MRI are more useful for resolving issues with respect to the tissue composition.
 

almost_hectic

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Jun 30, 2015
Messages
779
Location
naples, florida
I think (not positive) the measurements taken in any of those tests depend on the interpretation of the radiologist. So the images may appear different to different people determining the results. It’s mostly judging mushy pixels on a screen to get a measurement. Lots of high tech computer imagery but still comes down to human interpretation for the most part.
 

Unicusp

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Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
330
I think (not positive) the measurements taken in any of those tests depend on the interpretation of the radiologist. So the images may appear different to different people determining the results. It’s mostly judging mushy pixels on a screen to get a measurement. Lots of high tech computer imagery but still comes down to human interpretation for the most part.
Agree with the above. Very subjective. Two potential competing outliers. Need at least another one to help determine which one may be correct.
 

thos_huxley

Active member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
25
Thanks everyone, for your helpful replies. I've consulted with my local cardiologist. He agrees that my divergent scan results are concerning, and agrees that should get re-examined by a cardiology team with better resources than are available here. A third opinion in this case is warranted. So, I'll be seeking arrangements at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City.
 

tom in MO

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Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,963
Location
MO USA
Thanks everyone, for your helpful replies. I've consulted with my local cardiologist. He agrees that my divergent scan results are concerning, and agrees that should get re-examined by a cardiology team with better resources than are available here. A third opinion in this case is warranted. So, I'll be seeking arrangements at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City.

I use Dr. Orme at St. Lukes. The St. Luke's team has been my team for many years including my AVR.
 

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