Doctors Lounge - Cardiology AnswersBack to Cardiology Answers List
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge (www.doctorslounge.com) does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided on www.doctorslounge.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.
Date of last update: 10/20/2017.
Forum Name: Diseases of the Aorta
Question: Atherosclerotic calcification
|Tuffy - Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:39 pm||
I have recently experienced dibilating low back pain with left hip, leg and foot pain. I was sent for a CT scan of the lumbarsacral spine. It said "Atherosclerotic calcification is present in the distal aorta and aortic bifurcation". I had two heart attacks in 2002 within 3 months of each other and I have 3 stents in my heart mid-lad.
I have several protrusions in my lumbar spine that indent the dural sac and extends into the foramina. I had a back injury in 1995 and I just assumed this pain in my back is truly back pain. Should I worry about it being from my heart? I have been very stressed for the last 6 months.
Should I be seeing my cardiologist? Am I going to have an aneursym from this calcium in my aorta?
|Dr. A. Madia - Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:41 am||
Atherosclerosis is a process in which the inner lining of the arteries get fat deposition, on which calcium is also deposited and gradually the lumen gets narrowed. This was what caused you the heart attack in the first place.
Now, aorta is also an artery, and has the same tendency to get these fatty plaques. The disease process is the same, so some one having atherosclerosis in coronary is likely to have it in the aorta as well. However aorta has adiameter of about one and a half inch, so it hardly affects the blood flow, as against the heart arteries which have a diameter of 4-5 millimeteres.
So your pain is certainly not due to the atherosclerosis in aorta, neither it has anything to do with your heart. I would advice you though to keep taking some form of a statin -Lipitor or Zocor- so as to prevent this atherosclerosis from progressing.
P. s. You will almost never ever get an aneurysm, it is highly unlikely. You need to see a spine doctor for your pain.
|| Check a doctor's response to similar questions|
Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?
Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community
Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.
Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.