Blood Vessels: The Aorta

The left ventricle pumps blood through the aortic valve and into the aorta, which is the body’s largest artery. An echo scan can assess the size of and blood flow through the early part of the aorta. A number of conditions – such as high blood pressure or aortic valve problems – can cause the aorta to enlarge (or ‘dilate’) over time. A mildly dilated aorta is often seen in older people, or people with high blood pressure, and may not cause significant problems, however a severely dilated aorta will need specialist follow-up, and may ultimately need an operation to repair or replace this important blood vessel.


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