The aorta is the main artery leading from the heart to the body. Disease can cause this artery to dilate, creating an "aneurysm", which is prone to fatal rupture. In other disorders, a tear in one of the layers of the aorta ("dissection") can lead to either rupture or obstruction of blood flow to critical organs. Marfan syndrome patients are particularly at risk for aortic problems. The treatment for most of these conditions is an operation to replace the affected portion of aorta.