Letters To The Editor

In reply: Aortic aneurysm: Fluoroquinolones, genetic counseling

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In Reply: We thank Drs. Goldstein and Mascitelli for their comments regarding fluoroquinolones and thoracic aortic aneurysms. We acknowledge that fluoroquinolones (particularly ciprofloxacin) have been associated with a risk of aortic aneurysm and dissection based on large observational studies from Taiwan, Canada, and Sweden. Although all of the studies have shown an association between ciprofloxacin and aortic aneurysm, the causative role is not well established. In addition, the numbers of events were very small in these large cohorts of patients. In our large tertiary care practice at Cleveland Clinic, we have very few patients with aortic aneurysm or dissection who have used fluoroquinolones.

We recognize the association; however, our paper was intended to emphasize the more common causes and treatment options that primary care physicians are likely to encounter in routine practice.

We also thank Drs. Ayoubieh and MacCarrick for their comments about genetic counseling. We agree that genetic counseling is important, as is a detailed physical examination for subtle features of genetically mediated aortic aneurysm. In fact, we incorporate the physical examination when patients are seen at our aortic center so as to recognize the physical features. We do routinely recommend screening of first-degree relatives even without significant family history on an individual basis and make appropriate referrals for other conditions that can be seen in these patients. Our article, however, is primarily intended to emphasize the importance of referring these patients for more-focused care at a specialized center, where we incorporate all of the suggestions that were made.

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