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How Do Aortic Aneurysms Develop?

Aortic aneurysm refers to abnormal bulging or enlargement of the aorta, recognized as the largest blood vessel in humans and is a usual condition. Doctors even call it as great vessel aneurysm because the enlargement often affects only a specific part of the blood vessel.

How Do Aortic Aneurysms Develop?

How Do Aortic Aneurysms Develop?

Abdominal aortic aneurysm usually grows in a slow way and usually without any symptom creating it difficult in detection. A few of such aneurysms never cause any rupture. Most of them start with small bulge and continue to stay small but most of them expand with the passage of time. On the other side, a few of them expand in no time. Predicting the exact time associated with enlargement of any AAA i.e. abdominal aortic aneurysm is difficult for doctors. However, with the enlargement of any abdominal aortic aneurysm, patients may notice the following-

  • Deep and constant pain in the abdomen or on a specific side of an abdomen
  • Pulsating feel across the navel
  • Unbearable or severe back pain

In case you deal with any of the symptoms mentioned here, especially sudden and severe abdominal or back pain, you should look for emergency help immediately.

Why Aortic Aneurysms Develop?

Aortic aneurysm or aneurysm in general takes place whenever a particular segment of the blood vessel becomes weak or it expands. Pressure of the blood that flows from the vessel forms a bulge at weak points usually in the same manner, as any overinflated inner tube creates a bulge in any vehicle’s tire. Bulge often starts of small size but it gradually grows with continuous pressure.

Aneurysms in arteries are dangerous because they may rupture to cause internal bleeding. Bulging may take place in almost every artery of humans and is common in abdominal aorta and brain arteries. Bulges formed in any artery are of true aneurysms, dissection or false aneurysms.

Key Aspects on Aortic Aneurysm Development

  • Bulging may take place at almost any place within the aorta, along with the vessel as a whole.
  • The problem is common in abdominal aorta and doctors call it triple A (AAA) i.e. the acronym of abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • On the other side, bulging sometimes take place in thoracic aorta, because of which doctors call it as thoracic aortic aneurysm.
  • Aneurysm may further be of two different types named as true aneurysm and false aneurysm. In this case, true one involves each of the three different layers present in the wall of one’s blood vessel, while a false one contains only two outer layers of the walls of blood vessel.
  • Since abdominal aorta is a large vessel, bulging of it to ruptured abdominal aneurysm results in a life-threatening event.
  • Positively, not all of the aneurysms rupture instantly. Instead, most of them grow in a slow way and do not cause any symptom or problem for a long time.
  • When doctors detect the bulging/aneurysm problem within time, they repair it electively based on operation to avoid any rupture further.
  • Similar to brain aneurysm, aorta aneurysm even take place in people exceeding 65 years age.
  • Numbers of aneurysm cases in different regions of United States is consistently increasing with the increase in population.
  • Aneurysm has become a common problem in men as compared to women.


  1. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. Link
  2. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). Link
  3. Society for Vascular Surgery. (n.d.). Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. Link

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 19, 2023

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