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An assessment of the current medical management of thoracic aortic disease: A patient-centered scoping literature review

Thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection are complex diagnoses that require management by multidisciplinary providers using a variety of medical therapies, surgical interventions, and lifestyle modifications. Pharmacological agents, such as β-blockers (atenolol) and angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers (losartan), have been mainstay treatments for several years, and research from the past decade has continued to evaluate these and other medication classes to further improve patient morbidity and mortality. Combination β- and renin-aldosterone-angiotensin blockade, statins, metformin, antioxidants, and vitamins have been evaluated as therapeutics in both thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms, as well as the effects of various antibiotics (ie, fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines) and benefits of lifestyle modifications (eg, diet and exercise) and enhanced patient-centered care and treatment adherence. In addition, as our understanding of the genetic, biochemical, and pathophysiological mechanisms behind these diseases expands, so do potential targets for future therapeutic research (eg, interleukins, matrix metalloproteases, and mast cells). This review incorporates the major meta-analyses, systematic and generalized reviews, and clinical trials published from 2010 through 2021 that focus on these topics in thoracic aortic aneurysms (and abdominal aneurysms when thoracic literature is scarce). Several key ongoing clinical trials, case studies, and in vivo/in vitro studies are also mentioned. Furthermore, we discuss current gaps in the literature and the abundance of clinical evidence for some interventions in abdominal aneurysms with few thoracic correlates, thus indicating a need for investigation of these subjects in the latter.

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