Aortic dissection in Turner syndrome

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Purpose of reviewTurner syndrome is a relatively common disorder of female development with cardinal features of short stature and congenital cardiovascular defects (CHD). Turner syndrome is the most common established cause of aortic dissection in young women, but has received little attention outside pediatric literature. This review focuses on emerging knowledge of the characteristics of aortic disease in Turner syndrome in comparison with Marfan-like syndromes and isolated aortic valve disease.Recent findingsThe incidence of aortic dissection is significantly increased in individuals with Turner syndrome at all ages, highest during young adult years and in pregnancy. Pediatric patients with dissection have known congenital cardiovascular defects (CHD), but adults often have aortic valve and arch abnormalities detected only by screening cardiac magnetic resonance. Thoracic aortic dilation in Turner syndrome must be evaluated in relation to body surface area. Dilation is most prominent at the ascending aorta, similar to the pattern seen in nonsyndromic bicuspid aortic valve, is equally prevalent (20–30%) in children and adults, and does not seem to be rapidly progressive. Cardiovascular anomalies and risk for aortic dissection in Turner syndrome are strongly linked to a history of fetal lymphedema, evidenced by the presence of neck webbing and shield chest.SummaryRisk for acute aortic dissection is increased by more than 100-fold in young and middle-aged women with Turner syndrome. Monitoring frequency and treatment modalities are decided on an individual basis until more information on outcomes becomes available.

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