What is it?

An aortic aneurysm is a swelling, or bulging, of the aorta – the main blood vessel that leads away from the heart, down through the abdomen to the rest of the body. The bulging occurs when the wall of the aorta weakens. Aortic aneurysms don’t always cause problems, but a ruptured aneurysm can cause major internal bleeding and be life-threatening.
Dissection of the aorta occurs when an injury to the innermost layer of the aorta allows blood to flow between the layers of the aortic wall, causing a split between the inner and middle layers of the wall of the aorta as it progresses. This could cause fatal complications, such as rupture of the dissected artery or severe blockage of blood flow through the normal lumen of the aorta.

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Aortic Aneurysm & Dissection (AD).

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Enlarged Aorta

Signs & symptoms

In most cases, an aortic aneurysm causes no noticeable symptoms. However, if it becomes large, some people may develop pain or a pulsating feeling in their abdomen or persistent back pain.
In cases of a rupture or a dissection of the aorta, common signs and symptoms include severe pain in the chest, abdomen or back, sweating, shortness of breath, decreased blood pressure, dizziness and fainting


Because aortic aneurysms alone usually cause no symptoms, they tend to be diagnosed either as a result of screening, an imaging test that you have done for another reason, or during a routine examination – for example, if your doctor notices a pulsating sensation in your abdomen.
Diagnosis of a rupture or a dissection of the aorta is based on your signs and symptoms and additional tests, Including:
* imaging studies – chest X-ray, CT scan, MRI scan, Echocardiogram (ultrasound of your heart and aorta)
* ECG – to rule out other conditions such as a heart attack


Small aneurisms that are not at risk for a rupture may be monitored regularly by US tests or CT scans. Larger aneurysms may need surgery.
In cases of aortic dissection, treatment depends on the type and the location of the dissection, and may include:
* medications: pain relievers and medications lo lower blood pressure such as beta-blockers
* surgery – can be either an open surgery or a minimally invasive endovascular surgery.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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