What are the symptoms of a thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA)?

Often, thoracic aortic aneurysms do not cause any symptoms because they usually develop slowly over time. However, if the aneurysm is big enough to put pressure on surrounding structures within the chest, symptoms may include:
  • hoarseness
  • trouble swallowing
  • swelling in the neck
  • pain in the chest or upper back
  • nausea and vomiting
  • rapid heart rate
This content originally appeared online in "The Patient Guide to Heart, Lung, and Esophageal Surgery" from the Society of Thoracic Surgery.

Continue Learning about Aneurysms


Aneurysms form balloons in weakened arteries of our bodies, potentially causing life-threatening problems such as a stroke. Although aneurysms can form in any weakened artery, they commonly occur in the arteries of the brain and i...

n the aorta, the central artery that extends from your heart through the center of your abdomen and chest. Certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, can weaken the arteries, which deliver oxygenated blood from our heart to the rest of our bodies. The pressure of blood traveling through the arteries can lead to this balloon-like bulge. You can have an aneurysm for years without symptoms or problems. Others can have an aneurysm that pops, which can lead to a stroke if bleeding occurs in the brain. Ruptured aneurysms must be treated quickly, usually within minutes, or it can become deadly: about 50% of all ruptured aneurysms are fatal.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.