Difference Between Aortic Ectasia and Aneurysm

An aortic ectasia tends to be a situation when a section of the aorta increases in width. This is by less than 50% of its normal width. An aneurysm occurs when a blood vessel widens to about 50% plus more of the vessel’s original diameter.


Science Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to science

1 / 5

The substances that enter a chemical reaction are called __________.

2 / 5

A chemical reaction where energy is released is called:

3 / 5

Where does photosynthesis take place?

4 / 5

DNA carries the instructions for an organism to grow. DNA stands for.....

5 / 5

What is the function of root hair cells?

Your score is


Aortic Ectasia vs Aneurysm

The difference between aortic ectasia and aneurysm is that aortic ectasia is when a widened area of the aorta develops whereby the region will not be more than 50% of its original diameter.

On the other hand, an aneurysm is when a widening of the blood vessel occurs that will be more than 50% of the particular expected diameter.

Aortic Ectasia usually has no symptoms at the time that it is within the aorta as only a slight widening occurs of the vessel. The diagnosis will occur when an ultrasound is done of the aorta where the widened section of the vessel gets noticed and measured.

Only when an aneurysm dissects or ruptures will it give symptoms. It also matters where the aneurysm is as this can happen in other blood vessels like the coronary vessels of one’s heart. A coronary artery aneurysm can lead to certain symptoms that are like those of a heart attack.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAortic EctasiaAneurysm
CausesAtherosclerosis is a main cause and even a complication of the disorder primary aldosteronismHypertension and atherosclerosis are main causes and also other disorders like Marfan’s syndrome
SymptomsUsually no symptoms are present of the conditionOnly when an aneurysm dissects or ruptures will symptoms be present
DiagnosisA diagnosis occurs by an ultrasound to figure out if one has this conditionImaging tests like angiograms, CT scans, MRI, and ultrasound may let one know that an aneurysm is there
TreatmentMedication that can decrease blood pressure may stop the vessel wall from widening moreTreatment will depend on where the aneurysm is located
Diameter of dilation within the aortaThis is diagnosed if the width of the dilated region will be 2.6 to 2.9 cm wideThis is diagnosed if the width of the dilated region will be 3cm and more

What is Aorta Ectasia?

An aortic ectasia will be a widening of one’s aorta. This will be less than 50% of the normal vessel. The width of the dilated area will be 2.6 to 2.9 cm wide.

The width of the bulge will even be less than the length. The aortic ectasia is often viewed as a diffuse swollen area.

Medicine that can lower blood pressure will be used to help treat the condition. A small ectasia can be treated medically and usually, doctors wait to see what happens. When the area keeps on expanding to develop into an aneurysm, surgery will then occur.

This is why an aortic ectasia can be said to be a swollen section of one’s aorta that will not be big and is often longer than wide.

An ectasia can develop into an aneurysm. Both are however not the same as aortic ectasia will not be as wide of an area.

But, if the vessel widens more, this can become an aneurysm. Ectasia is not usually serious. This is unless the width keeps on expanding.

Aortic ectasia is not very common within young healthy individuals but it can become more likely as one ages.

What is Aneurysm?

An aneurysm is said to be a widened section of the blood vessel that usually bulges outwards. This will be above 50% of the diameter of the particular normal vessel. It is even in a focused area.

If the width of the dilated area gets to 3 cm and above, an aneurysm is diagnosed. The width will be bigger in comparison to the length.

An aneurysm will be a focal swollen area. The treatment of an aneurysm varies. This depends upon where it is present in the body. If it is in the brain, surgical clipping off of it can occur.

If it is in the aorta, a surgical replacement of the damaged area will happen. Surgical intervention to help replace the harmed section with a graft aids in stopping life-threatening dissection plus rupture of the vessel.

Therefore an aneurysm will be a focused area of the blood vessel that will bulge out and requires surgical repair. When one needs to find out if they have an aneurysm, imaging tests can occur for this which will show if it is present.

One must get treatment when they find out that they have an aneurysm because it may be dangerous.

Main Differences Between Aortic Ectasia and Aneurysm

  1. An aortic ectasia will lead to a widening of the aorta that will be less than 50% of the expected diameter whilst in an aneurysm the widening will be more than 50% of the expected diameter.
  2. The diameter of dilation in the aorta for an aortic ectasia will be 2.6 to 2.9 cm and 3 cm or more for the aneurysm.
  3. The width will be smaller than the length of an aortic ectasia and the width will be bigger in length for the aneurysm.
  4. For aortic ectasia, one needs to take medication to limit blood pressure while surgical clipping of the aneurysm will occur if it is in the brain or surgical replacement will need to occur of the damaged section when it is in the aorta, to treat an aneurysm. Therefore an aneurysm is more serious and needs to be treated properly and with care.
  5. An aortic ectasia tends to be longer than wider. It is also narrower in diameter in comparison to an aneurysm. An aneurysm will be more of a localized type of bulge. It will be wider than it is long. The ectasia will become serious if the width of it keeps on expanding.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033062097800242
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00710653
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️