78 Physicians Online


Lumbar Aortic Calcification

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I had an xray for lower back pain and the report mentioned that the aorta was calcified. Is this the aorta of the heart and why is it found on a xray of the lower back?


An x-ray of the lumbar spine will highlight any structure at the level of the lumbar spine, with a calcium component, including bones, organs or blood vessels. The aorta is the main artery that leaves the heart carrying oxygenated blood to different parts of the body. The aorta leaves the heart and travels upwards in the ascending aorta then travels south following the aortic arch to become the descending aorta. When the aorta passes through the diaphragm it becomes the abdominal aorta, which supplies the stomach and intestines. It is this abdominal aorta that is viewed in a lumbar spine x-ray. Calcium can be deposited in arterial walls due to process of atherosclerosis and is often due to degenerative disease or the aging process. This is not uncommon. Sometimes calcium can be deposited in the arterial walls if there is a swelling or dilatation in the artery known as an aneurysm. If you are concerned, a simple ultrasound scan can measure the diameter of the abdominal aorta, to exclude an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Have a Question? Ask The Doctor Here.

Sign In to join in the conversation.

Related Answers:

Inconsistent pulsing sensation and pain in back of left arm and shoulder blade

Why does my side hurt when I move? Like when I move it feels like something is being pulled apart.

Hi there. I have been having severe lower back pain that shoots down my left hip into my leg and I end up with really...

Randomly I get a sharp pain in my mid back on the right side. It usually only lasts for about 30 seconds to a minute ...

Ive had 3 back surgeries in the past last one 2013. I fell around 2 weeks ago im having pain middle of the chest and ...

About a year and a half ago I was in a car accident that causes 2 ruptured discs in my neck, and a torn rotator cuff;...

Hello i was sewing something and i found a needle on the floor. My 10 month was playing around. I dont know if there ...

Extreme acute sciatica and Disc Herniation. Sent home for four months rest, has gotten worse, can not walk I sometime...

Hi. I have SEVERE upper back pain due to having had a tense back, placing a small, hard instrument under my back and ...

I was told that my back is starting to curve to one side from the middle,down and it is definitely hurting and I sit ...

You’re in good hands, meet ATD’s founding physicians.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • Board Certified GP
  • CMO ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Adjunct Professor at U Of T

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
  • Director ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Fellowship Training Atlanta, GA