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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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What does atherosclerotic changes involving the aorta mean?

Resolved Question:

what does atherosclerotic changes involving the aorta mean? chest xray also states prominecnce of the cardiomediastinal silhouette is consistent with chamber enlargement.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 5 years ago.
Atherosclerotic changes refers to the cholesterol plaques that form as part of vascular disease that cause narrowings in the blood vessels as they get larger. These cholesterol plaques also can calcify, and the calcification is easier to see on a plain x-ray.

On any chest x-ray, there is a lung on each side and solid tissue in between. This area of solid tissue is referred to as the mediastinum. The largest structure in the mediastinum is the heart, so it is also sometimes referred to as the cardiomediastinum. When the cardiomediastinum is larger and more prominent than usual, it is typically due to enlargement of the heart. A plain x-ray is usually limited in the amount of information that can be provided about the various chambers, so also cannot determine what type of heart enlargement is present. An echocardiogram would be better able to see each chamber.
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