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Abdominal aortic aneurysm
Other Names for this Disease
- Aneurysm, abdominal aortic
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Abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when the large blood vessel that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs becomes abnormally large or balloons outward. 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.
- Weinrauch LA. Abdominal aortic aneurysm. MedlinePlus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000162.htm. Accessed January 16, 2009.
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- MedicineNet.com provides information about abdominal aortic aneurysm. Click on the link above to access this information.
- MedlinePlus, a Web site designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, provides more information about this topic. Click on the link to view this information.
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Abdominal aortic aneurysm. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
- The The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database contains genetics resources that discuss Abdominal aortic aneurysm. Click on the link to go to OMIM and review these resources.
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.