Abdominal ultrasound of an abdominal aortic aneurysm
The enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta is an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An ultrasound image of an abdominal aortic aneurysm is shown in the upper right corner. Ultrasound imaging is often used to diagnose abdominal aortic aneurysms.
The Mayo Clinic Aortic Center is a premier center for diagnosing and treating people with serious and complex aortic disease. Each year, the clinic treats nearly 10,000 adults and children with aortic aneurysm, including those with abdominal aortic aneurysms and thoracic aortic aneurysms.
The center's team includes vascular medicine specialists, heart doctors (cardiologists), rheumatologists, vascular and endovascular surgeons, cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional and diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and medical geneticists. These health care providers have special interest in diseases of the aorta and work together to integrate medical, surgical, radiologic and research expertise to benefit the people who seek them out for effective and innovative care.
With Mayo Clinic's emphasis on collaborative care, specialists at each of the campuses — Minnesota, Arizona and Florida — interact closely with colleagues at the other campuses and the Mayo Clinic Health System.
Nationally recognized expertise
Mayo Clinic campuses are nationally recognized for expertise in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery: Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2022–2023 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.
Advanced diagnosis and treatment at the Center for Aortic Diseases
CT scan of a repaired aorta
This section of the aorta extending from the chest into the abdomen (thoracoabdominal aorta) underwent extensive surgery to repair the ballooning walls of this largest blood vessel in the body.
The Mayo Clinic Aortic Center offers people with complex aortic diseases, such as aneurysms, dissections and genetic disorders, extensive multispecialty investigation to evaluate clinical risk, obtain imaging, and assess potential genetic or other disorders. After this comprehensive evaluation, your care team talks with you about your diagnosis and the full range of treatment options, including medical care, family screening, and endovascular and open surgical options if needed. Together, you develop a plan tailored to your situation.
Very few medical centers offer the combined expertise, advanced diagnostic capabilities and treatment options that are available at the Mayo Clinic Aortic Center. The clinic has a long tradition of trained specialists in the evaluation of people with aortic diseases and surgeons who perform open and endovascular techniques to treat these conditions. They use CT scans and MRI to identify aortic and other blood vessel problems.
The clinic installed the first commercial CT scanner in June 1973, just a year after the first CT scan images were performed in 1972 in the United Kingdom. At first, the clinic used the CT scanner for brain imaging. In 1991 a technical advance called spiral imaging led to the CT scanner being used for imaging vessels with CT angiography. Improvements over the years have led to better image quality and reduced radiation dose. The MRI scanner was invented in 1973, and the first MRI scan of a patient was in 1977. MRI is an imaging technique that uses magnets, radio waves and a computer to create high-resolution images of the body. A major benefit of MRI is that, unlike CT, it doesn't use radiation to provide detailed images. In addition, it can provide information about blood flow.
In the last decade, other significant technological developments have broadened diagnostic and treatment options, including novel surgical and endovascular stent-grafts for complex aortic problems. These advances enable doctors to treat people with complex diseases that involve all blood vessels, including the arteries to the head and neck, kidney, and intestines, with a minimally invasive approach.
See physician staff.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Aortic aneurysm
- Aortic dissection
- Aortic malignancy
- Aortic trauma
- Aortoiliac aneurysm
- Arch aneurysm
- Congenital heart defects in children
- Congenital heart disease in adults
- Familial aortic disorders
- Infectious aortic disorders
- Loeys-Dietz syndrome
- Marfan syndrome
- Juxtarenal and pararenal aneurysms
- Thoracic aortic aneurysm
- Thoracoabdominal aneurysm
- Turner syndrome
- Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
The Mayo Clinic Aortic Center has one of the largest and most advanced research programs in the world. Its physician-scientists collaborate with industry and engineering partners as well as governmental and international patient advocacy foundations to conduct clinical trials of new devices, procedures and treatments. For example, Mayo Clinic surgeons developed new stents for complex aortic aneurysms and were the first to offer this new treatment in the United States. Mayo Clinic physicians and surgeons also participate in multicenter studies to determine the best surgical treatments for aortic aneurysms related to genetic disorders.
Mayo Clinic physicians have played a major role in the development of novel technology and serve as national or global principal investigators in many of these trials. You may want to talk with your doctor about whether you are eligible for a clinical trial that allows you early access to advanced technology.
See a list of publications on aortic disease by Mayo Clinic doctors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.
Active clinical studies
This group of doctors is active in clinical trials related to aortic disease.
Sept. 14, 2022