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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2001 June;49(3):211-20

language: English, Italian

Small aorta syndrome: hypothesis or reality?

Raso A. M., Varetto G., Bellan A., Ortensio M., Moniaci D., Barile G., Rispoli P.


A syndrome of peripheral obliterating arterial disease characterised by aortoiliac steno-occlusion is reported in the literature under the name small aorta syndrome, occurring in young women of small stature with relatively typical risk factors. Starting from an analysis of the studies reported in the literature and on the basis of our own results, we have attempted to ascertain whether small aorta syndrome represents an independent nosological entity. By analysing studies on the small aorta syndrome and in the light of a recent study made by our group on arterial diameters measured in cadavers, which highlights a significant correlation between aortic diameter and age, it can be affirmed that a pathology of this nature does not respond to absolute criteria for existence. Therefore, the aortoiliac diameter in women suspected of being affected by small aorta syndrome appears to be broadly in proportion to that expected in healthy women of the same age.
Small aorta syndrome does not therefore appear to represent a separate nosological entity. It takes the form of a hypoplastic vascular disorder, which is probably congenital, correlated to other arterial districts in the same subject. However, it may encourage the onset of early symptoms in women of small stature.

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