New guidelines aim to prevent unnecessary death from thoracic aortic disease

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - 07:42 in Health & Medicine

When actor John Ritter died suddenly in 2003 from a tear in his thoracic aorta -the large artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body -that tragedy brought attention to a rare but deadly condition that takes the lives of an estimated 10,000 Americans each year. Now, new clinical guidelines spearheaded by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) not only offer new recommendations for the diagnosis and management of thoracic aortic disease (TAD), they deliver a powerful message to physicians and patients: Early diagnosis and treatment can save lives.

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