Aortic Aneurysms

An aortic aneursym is an abnormal bulge in the wall of the aorta, the body's largest artery. Aneurysms often cause no symptoms, but they can be life-threatening if they get too large and rupture or burst.

The Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Hospital is a multidisciplinary specialty center dedicated to the care of patients with medical and surgical conditions that affect the aorta.

Our team of cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiologists, vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists and diagnostic radiologists monitor aneurysm activity, screen family members and perform surgery and stent grafting for large aneurysms.

Some of our clinical research findings have been groundbreaking as in the study of how ascending aortic aneurysms can prevent arteriosclerosis and in the connection between weightlifting and aortic dissection.

John Elefteriades, MD

Molecular Genetics of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Disease

John Elefteriades, MD and his research team, in collaboration with Dr. Olga Iakoubova and colleagues at Celera Genomics in California, are conducting advanced research into the molecular genetics of thoracic aortic aneurysm disease.

They have developed a 31-RNA gene chip that is 85 percent accurate in determining — from a blood test only — whether a patient harbors a thoracic aneurysm. It is hoped that after further testing this gene chip test may become a widely applied screening test, like the PSA test for prostate cancer. The team has also recently identified DNA mutations that produce thoracic aortic aneurysms.