Aortic Aneurysm (swelling of the blood vessels)

Aortic aneurysm is a weakened and bulging area in the aorta, the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the entire body. The aorta is the channel that extends from the heart to the body through the center of the chest and abdomen area. Because the aorta is the main blood supplier, rupture of an aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding.

Although you may never experience symptoms, you have to move on aortic aneurysm can scare you.

Most aortic aneurysms are small and slow development will not lead to the rupture of blood vessels, but the aortic aneurysm is large and growing rapidly can cause rupture of blood vessels.

Based on the size and the average aortic aneurysm growth, treatment can range from monitoring to emergency surgery. Once an aortic aneurysm is found, the doctor will conduct strict supervision until after surgery when needed. Emergency surgery for aortic aneurysm is very risky.


Aortic aneurysms often develop slowly and usually without symptoms, making it difficult to detect. Some aortic aneurysm will never break. Many start small and stay small, although it can expand over time. Some aortic aneurysms grow slowly, increasing less than half an inch (1.2 cm) each year. While the other, the growing size of the blood vessels can be more quickly and increase the risk for rupture. How fast is the grow level of an aortic aneurysm is difficult to predict.

Some people with aortic aneurysm have stated that:

• Sense of pulsed near the navel area, if an aortic aneurysm occurs in the abdominal area

• Bruises or pain in the abdomen or chest area

• Backache

An aneurysm can occur anywhere along the aorta, but a lot happens in the abdominal area is called abdominal aortic aneurysms. Aneurysms that occur in the aorta in the upper chest called thoracic aortic aneurysms.

Causes & Risk Factors

Abdominal aortic aneurysms

About 75 percent of aortic aneurysms occur in the aorta in the abdomen. Although the exact cause of abdominal aortic aneurysms is unknown, scientists think several factors may play a role, such as:

• The use of tobacco. Cigarette smoking and other forms of tobacco use makes a significant factor in the development of aneurysms. In addition, the effect of the damage caused by smoking are directly occur in the arteries, smoking also contributes to the occurrence of atherosclerosis and high blood pressure, and causes aneurysms grow faster.

• High blood pressure. High blood pressure, especially if it is not controlled, increase the risk of aortic aneurysms.

• Infection of the aorta (vasculitis). In rare cases, aortic aneurysms may be caused by an infection or inflammation that weakens the aortic wall. Pattern aneurysms often develop because due to genetic factors.

Thoracic aortic aneurysms

About 25 percent of aortic aneurysms occur in the upper chest. Risk factors for the occurrence of abdominal aortic aneurysms may also contribute to the occurrence of thoracic aortic aneurysms, additional factors that may cause thoracic aortic aneurysms, among others:

• Marfan syndrome. They are born with Marfan syndrome, a genetic condition that cause the body connective tissue, are at particular risk thoracic aortic aneurysms. Marfan syndrome will be able to weaken the aortic wall which makes it more susceptible to aneurysms. Those with Marfan syndrome often has physical characteristics vary, including tall, arms very much, changes in bone shape chest and eye problems.

• Injury to the aorta before. You will be more likely to have thoracic aortic aneurysms if you ever have any problems with the aorta, such as a tear in the aortic wall.

• Injury trauma. Some people who have fallen or injured motor vehicle accident will be affected by thoracic aortic aneurysms.

Aortic aneurysms rupture the walls of the condition differs from the aorta (aortic dissection). Aortic dissection often occurs in the same place with the occurrence of aortic aneurysms. In aortic dissection, a tear occurs in the aortic wall. This causes bleeding and along the wall of the aorta, and in some cases, the rupture of the aorta. Aortic dissection is a life-threatening emergencies.

Risk factors

Several risk factors for aortic aneurysms include:

• Age. Abdominal aortic aneurysms are common in people aged 60 years and above.

• The use of tobacco. Tobacco use is a strong risk factor for the occurrence of aortic aneurysms. The longer you smoke or chew tobacco, the greater your risk.

• High blood pressure. High blood pressure damages the blood vessels body, increase the chances of aneurysms.

• Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, the formation of fat or other substances that can damage blood vessels, increase your risk of aneurysms.

• Men. Males have aortic aneurysms five to ten times more often than women. However, women with aortic aneurysms have a higher risk of rupture than in men.

• Race. Aortic aneurysms are more common in whites than other races.

• Family history. Those who have a family history of aortic aneurysms tend to have aortic aneurysms at a younger age and have a high risk of rupture.


There are no drugs that can prevent aortic aneurysms. Scientists think statin drugs and some antibiotics can slow the growth of small aortic aneurysms. And there is some evidence that the angiotensin receptor blocker losartan (Cozaar) may prevent aneurysm.

For now the best approach to prevent aortic aneurysms is to keep blood vessels healthy. This means taking the following steps:

• Keep your blood pressure under control.

• Do not smoke.

• Exercise regularly.

• Reduce cholesterol and fat in the diet.

It is important to stop using tobacco for smoking or chewing tobacco can increase the chances of the onset of aortic aneurysms.

If you have risk factors for aortic aneurysms, talk to your doctor. If you have a risk, your doctor may recommend additional measures, including drugs to lower blood pressure and relieve pressure on the weakened artery.


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