What is the difference between aortic ectasia and aortic aneurysm?Several of the websites I have researched indicate the difference is mostly in size of the dilation. Reading between the lines of several other posts it sounds like an aneurysm is more like a balloon/blister formation caused by the weakening in a focused area of a vessel whereas ectasia is an overall dilatation of the entire vessel. Am I on track or way off base?
The weakened artery wall may stretch as blood is pumped through it from the heart. The bulge or ballooning may be symmetrical (fusiform). Occasionally an aneurysm may occur because of a localized weakness of the artery wall (saccular). Enlargement of the aorta may be only mild in degree and termed "ectasia." In general, if the diameter of the aneurysm is more than 1.5 times the size of the normal aorta, it is called an aneurysm.
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