Thoracoabdominal aneurysms and changes in adjacent vertebral bodies

J. Kalder, A. Greiner, J. Grommes, A. Mahnken, H. Jalaie, Michael Jacobs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aim. The aim of this study was to assess if chronic intermittent pressure of a thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA) induces structural changes in vertebral bodies and if eroded vertebral bones can still be found after the extermination of syphilis.Methods. A retrospective analysis of computed tomography (CT) scans of patients with TAAA was performed. In the anatomical regions were the TAAA was in close contact with the vertebral bodies, the vertebral body alteration was distinguished into 4 categories. Category 0: no changes; 1: discrete changes, minimal asymmetry; 2: obvious asymmetry of the vertebral body with sustained cortical layer; 3: severe destruction of the vertebral body with loss of the cortical layer.Results. Eighty-six CT scans of patients (mean age 63; range 25-82 years) with TAAA pathology were examined (24 female, 62 male). The mean aneurysm diameter was 6.5 cm (4.3-14 cm). The results for scoring were: category 0: 33 patients; category 1: 46 patients; category 2: 5 patients and category 3: 2 patients. One of the category 3 patients suffered from acute spinal cord compression with complete paraplegia. In total, 62% of patients showed some degree of changes at vertebral bodies adjacent to the TAAA.Conclusion. Intermittent pressure by either dissecting or non-dissecting TAAAs may induce structural changes in the vertebral bodies of the spine. Severe destruction of the bone is a rare, but existing complication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-139
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • Aortic aneurysm, thoracic
  • Spinal cord compression
  • Bone diseases

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