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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Aneurysm is a protrusion (dilation, dilatation) on the wall of an artery. Abdominal aortic aneurysm occurred on the part of the aorta that passes through the stomach. The disease tends to occur in a family (inherited). These aneurysms often occur in people with high blood pressure, larger than 7.5 cm and can rupture. (Normal diameter of the aorta is 1,8-2,5 cm).


The exact cause is unknown, but risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysm are atherosclerosis and hypertension.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm may be caused by:
  • Infection.
  • Congenital abnormalities in connective tissue that forms the walls of the arteries.
  • Trauma.
Abdominal aortic aneurysms can occur in anyone, but is most often found in men aged 40-70 years. In children, an aneurysm can occur as a result of blunt abdominal injury or as a result of Marfan syndrome. Frequent complication is rupture of the aneurysm can cause bleeding into the abdominal cavity. Ruptured aneurysm is more often found in patients with aneurysms greater than 5 cm.


Patients often feel a pulsation in the abdomen. Aneurysms can cause pain, especially in the form of a sharp pain in the back. Pain can be severe and usually permanent, but changes in body position can reduce this pain.

Early signs of aneurysm rupture is usually a tremendous pain in the lower abdomen and back and tenderness over the aneurysm. In severe bleeding, the patient may fall into a state of shock. Rupture of abdominal aneurysm is often fatal.


Many patients who have no symptoms and are diagnosed on routine physical examination or on X-ray examinations performed for other reasons. On physical examination, the doctor may feel a pulsating mass in the midline of the abdomen. Aneurysms are expanding rapidly and nearly broke, often causing pain or tenderness when pressed. In obese patients, often lebarpun aneurysms that can not be found.

Several laboratory tests can help diagnose aneurysms:
  • Abdominal X-rays may show an aneurysm that has calcium deposits on the wall.
  • Ultrasound can show clearly the size of the aneurysm.
  • CT scan performed after intravenous injection of dye, can accurately show the size and shape of the aneurysm.
  • MRI scan is an accurate examination.

Treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Treatment depends on the size of the aneurysm. If the width is less than 5 cm, rarely broken; but if more than 6 cm wide, often broken. Because the aneurysm wider than 5 cm, surgery. In surgically inserted a synthetic graft to repair the aneurysm. The mortality rate for this surgery is 2%.

Ruptured aneurysm rupture or threatened, need to be addressed through emergency surgery. The risk of death during surgery ruptured aneurysm is 50%. If an aneurysm rupture, the kidneys are at risk for injury due to disruption of blood flow to the kidneys or from shock due to blood loss. If post-operative kidney failure, survival is very slim. Ruptured aneurysm and untreated, is always fatal.

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