Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Includes Expert Content
    Aorta is atherosclerotic
    Debsbears posted:
    Just curious about this comment that I saw on a CT abdomen and Pelvis w/IV Contrast Aorta is atherosclerotic but normal in caliber.

    I have been having a lot of pain in my RUQ as well as lower RQ. They did find distended loops of the intestines. Which my Dr told me about but never mentioned anything about my aorta or my partially collapsed right lung.

    If my aorta is normal in caliber is this an okay thing?

    I have just had my lipids done and they are total choes is 147 and my A1c is 5.4%. So I guess I don't understand this can you just tell me if I am okay?
    cardiostarusa1 responded:

    "Aorta is atherosclerotic"

    As reported, while atherosclerosis or calcification (as seen on CT imaging or X-ray, described as an organized, regulated process similar to bone formation that occurs only when other aspects of atherosclerosis/plaque buildup are also present) in the aorta usually doesn't cause problems there, due to the large size of the artery, it may/can be indicative of a problem going on in other critical smaller arteries, such as the coronary arteries (heart) the carotid arteries (neck), and the peripheral arteries (legs).

    "normal in caliber"

    This is self-explanatory.

    Take good care,




    It's your there.
    Debsbears replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
    Thanks so much - I didn't think it was a big deal for me because my total choles... is 147, but my Dr will keep an eye on it. My Cardio doc took me off my statins just for 6 mos to see my levels - I was told not to change my diet to see if my choles problem is truly genetic as I was told.
    James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
    A CT scan can identify calcium and sometimes non-calcified plaque in blood vessels which can be suggestive of atherosclerosis, the process which can cause coronary artery disease and heart attacks. Interestingly, a research study was just reported this weekend in which CT scans were performed on mummies from thousands of years ago. Calcifications were identified, suggesting that even in our ancestors, cardiovascular disease was likely present, despite a very different diet/activity lifestyle.
    Debsbears replied to James Beckerman, MD, FACC's response:
    Thank you for your input.

    The reason I bought this up is because when one reads online they hear kinds of things - but also my mom passed away at 50 from a massive heart attack, and my dad had 4 heart attacks before he was 60 but passed away from colon cancer.

    So heart problems run in my family as does cholesterol problems - that for me is genetic and the need for statins is a must no matter how low my fat content is.

    Helpful Tips

    potassium levels
    talk to your physician and check your meds on WebMD -- some med combinations either deplete or increase potassium levels in your ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    1 of 1 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    The Heart Beat - James Beckerman, MD, FACC

    Dr. James Beckerman shares how small, livable lifestyle changes can have a real impact on your risk of heart attack and stroke...Read More

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center