Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

An aortic aneurysm refers to a condition in which the aorta gets swelled up at certain point and becomes weak. Aorta is largest blood vessel of our body and related to heart, blood flow and blood pressure so it is obvious that any fluctuation in the blood pressure will be the major cause of an aortic aneurysm.

Aneurysms are of two types, thoracic and abdominal. An abdominal aortic aneurysm, abbreviated as AAA is a swelling or bulging in the abdominal part of aorta, filled with blood. Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm is a swelling at the thoracic portion of the aorta. The abdominal aortic aneurysm is more common as compared to the thoracic aortic aneurysm. As the time passes, size of the aneurysm becomes bigger and starts exerting pressure on the surrounding tissues and structures. The tissues of the aorta get weaker and a time comes when that part cannot bear the normal pressure of blood and it gets ruptured.

The chances of developing an aortic aneurysm are very less. It is about 4% in men and 1% in women aged above 65. The AAA cases in persons aged below 60 are very rare. There are number of other factors which might be responsible for causing an aortic aneurysm.

Hypertension: It is the major factor which is believed to cause the aortic aneurysm. Hypertension can increase the probability of developing an aortic aneurysm by weakening the walls of the aorta.

Aortic Infections: Although the chances of any kind of bacterial or fungal infection in the aorta are very less but if there is any kind of infection, the chances of aortic aneurysm increases. This is due to the necrosis of a particular part of the aorta.

Tobacco Consumption: Tobacco is a habit forming drug and its prolonged use can prove to be very dangerous. Tobacco consumed in any form, smoking or oral, increases the risk of developing an aneurysm. Smoking tobacco directly affects the walls of aorta and makes them weak.

Atherosclerosis: It refers to a condition in which the blood vessels of the body become hard due to deposition of fat or cholesterol and other hardening substances. Aorta, which is the largest blood vessel of the body, loses its elasticity and becomes hard. This increases the probability of an aneurysm.

Diseased Aorta: The blood vessels of the aorta can get diseased sometimes and may cause the weakening of the aorta and lead to aortic aneurysm.

Trauma or Shock: An accident or any other kind of shock increases the chances of developing an aortic aneurysm.

Family History: If anybody in the family suffers from aortic aneurysm, it is likely to develop in the coming generation also. However chances of it are very rare.

Age and Gender: Age is one of the major factors of developing an aneurysm. They are more common in males aged between 60-75 years. The elderly females who do not have much health issues mentioned above have minimal chances of developing aneurysm.

Obesity and Sedentary Life style: Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise leads to obesity. Obesity is not a health problem in itself but can give rise to many other health issues mentioned above which can increase the risk of developing an aortic aneurysm.

If there are complications in the aortic aneurysm the patient might feel some unusual symptoms like: Unusual headache, pain in the neck, vomiting sensation, nausea, seizers, sensitivity to light, fainting etc. If anyone feels any of the above symptoms repeatedly they can go for a diagnosis. The most popular and effective diagnosis procedures for abdominal aortic aneurysm include abdominal ultrasound, CT scan, echocardiogram, MRA etc….

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: January 29, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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