midaortic syndrome

Midaortic syndrome is an uncommon entity affecting children and young adults. It is characterized by progressive narrowing of the abdominal aorta and its major branches.

Clinical presentation

The onset of symptoms is usually during childhood or young adulthood :

  • hypertension (most common)
  • intermittent claudication
  • renal failure


The exact cause is unknown in most cases though it is probably due to an insult during intrauterine life. Whilst intimal and subintimal fibrosis and fragmentation of the elastic media are seen, arteritis and atherosclerosis are characteristically absent in this condition.

Elastin arteriopathy in Williams syndrome can rarely be a cause .

Radiographic features


On gray‐scale imaging, segmental narrowing or tortuosity can be detected in the distal thoracic and the abdominal aorta.

Color Doppler can demonstrate aliasing while spectral Doppler can show elevated peak systolic velocities in the narrowed vessels (often ranging around 230~480 cm/s). Tardus‐parvus waveforms can be seen in the vessels distally of the stenosis.

Angiography (DSA)

Whilst involvement of any portion of the abdominal aorta may be seen, the interrenal segment including the origins of the renal arteries is often narrowed. Typically enlarged splanchnic collaterals (e.g. inferior mesenteric arteryarc of Riolan, the marginal artery of Drummond) are noted. The aortic bifurcation and iliac arteries are spared .

Treatment and prognosis

Endovascular treatment is the preferred mode as it is a minimally invasive treatment option. Balloon expandable stents / stent-grafts are usually placed to expand the lumen of the aorta. Complex endovascular/surgical options such as fenestrated grafts with re-implantation of the renal arteries will be required if the renal arteries are involved.

Without treatment, life expectancy is dramatically shortened with most dying of ischemic/hypertensive complications by age 40 .

Differential diagnosis

Imaging differential considerations include :

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