Ring Abscess of the Aorta
Ring Abscess is a suppurative infection of the annulus caused most frequently by infectious endocarditis.
It results in a suppurative accumulation at the base of the aorta. Such an infection is fatal if left untreated. In many cases, more than one microbial agent is responsible. The most common bacterial agents are E. coli and staphylococci. With degeneration of the endothelium overlying the annulus, deposition of platelets and fibrin occurs. This fibrous complex is nonbacterial at first, called nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis. This structural defect can become colonized by bacteria and may progress to a ring abscess that requires drainage. A drained abscess may be complicated by a false aneurysm of a sinus of Valsalva.
A ring abscess is diagnosed by echocardiography.
Surgical treatment involving excision and interposition grafting is a necessary to prevent further spread of infection and damage to the valve.