Guilt by association: a paradigm for detection of silent aortic disease
Detection of clinically silent thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) is challenging due to the lack of symptoms (until aortic rupture or dissection occurs). A large proportion of TAA are identified incidentally while imaging a patient for other reasons. However, recently several clinical “associates” of TAA have been described that can aid in identification of silent TAA. These “associates” include intracranial aneurysm, aortic arch anomalies, abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), simple renal cysts (SRC), bicuspid aortic valve, temporal arteritis, a positive family history of aneurysm disease, and a positive thumb-palm sign. In this article we examine these associates of TAA and the data supporting their involvement with asymptomatic TAA.