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Abdominal aortic aneurysm
Other Names for this Disease
- Aneurysm, abdominal aortic
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Aneurysms develop slowly over many years and often have no symptoms. If an aneurysm expands rapidly, tears open (ruptured aneurysm), or blood leaks along the wall of the vessel (aortic dissection), symptoms may develop suddenly. Symptoms may include abdominal pain or rigidity, nausea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, and/or clammy skin. The exact cause of abdominal aortic aneurysms is unknown, but they are most often seen in males over 60 who have one or more of the following risk factors: emphysema, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, or a history of smoking. Genetics may also play a role. If the aneurysm is small and there are no symptoms, periodic evaluation may be recommended. Aneurysms that cause symptoms usually require surgery to prevent complications. The goal of surgery is to prevent complications or symptoms from developing.Abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when the large blood vessel that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs becomes abnormally large or balloons outward.
Last updated: 1/16/2009
- Weinrauch LA. Abdominal aortic aneurysm. MedlinePlus. August 28, 2008; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000162.htm. Accessed 1/16/2009.
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Selected Full-Text Journal Articles
- The American Family Physician provides an online journal article about abdominal aortic aneurysm. Click on the link above to access this article.