What does "marked tortuosit and calcification of the aorta" mean?

Wilma g asked...

In the results of a chest x-ray, and referring to the aorta, what does the term "marked tortuosity and calcification of the aorta", mean?

Expert Answer

Carolyn Strimike, N.P. and Margie Latrella, N.P. are cardiac nurse practitioners specializing in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. They have over 40 years of nursing experience in Cardiology between them. The main goal of their work is to counsel, motivate and empower women to adopt healthy lifestyle choices.

Marked tortuosity and calcification of the aorta on a chest x-ray means the aorta (which is the main blood vessel that receives the blood directly from the heart) has many acute bends and has become hardened. The bends and curves in a blood vessel are usually hereditary but the calcification can be a sign of: 1) Elevated cholesterol levels 2) Long-standing elevated blood pressure or blood sugar levels 3) Atherosclerotic fat and plaque accumulations 4) Disease of the aortic heart valve 5) A process of aging It is best to discuss the probable or possible causes and implications with your healthcare provider.