Aortic Aneurysm (cont.)
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Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms
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Aneurysms usually do not cause any symptoms until they become very large or rupture. Aneurysms in the abdominal aorta are often found coincidentally when the individual undergoes a medical test or procedure for some other reason.
Chest pain and back pain are the two most common symptoms of large aneurysms.
Some people describe the following symptoms of an aortic aneurysm:
Where the aorta widens into a bulge, blood clots (thrombi) are more likely to form. If a piece of a blood clot breaks off, it travels through the circulatory system until it lodges somewhere. The clot can cut off blood flow to any area of the body. Symptoms depend on which part of the body is deprived of blood.
Any of these symptoms can also occur with dissection of the aorta. The pain in the chest or pain may be particularly severe, and may mimic a heart attack.
In ruptured aneurysm or dissection, internal bleeding will occur. If a person has any of these symptoms along with the other symptoms of aortic aneurysm, they could be in danger and must seek emergency medical care right away. Other symptoms include the following:
These symptoms are not unique to people that have aortic aneurysms but they do indicate the person is likely experiencing a medical emergency that could include an aortic aneurysm. A major reason for most of the above symptoms is loss of blood from the leaking aneurysm. If the bleeding is uncontrolled, the person's blood pressure will drop dangerously low. Organs will not receive enough blood to function normally. This is called circulatory collapse, or just "shock."
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/8/2013
Shabir Bhimji, MD
Bryan Hoynak, MD
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Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) represent a degenerative process of the abdominal aorta that is often attributed to atherosclerosis; however, the exact cause is not known. A familiar clustering of AAAs has been noted in 15-25% of patients undergoing repair of the problem.