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abdominal aortic aneurysm: diagnosis

Pain is the most common symptom of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. When symptoms do occur, it usually indicates that the aneurysm is large and/or is growing rapidly. An abdominal aortic aneurysm can occur without any symptoms, and it may not always require treatment. The goal of any treatment strategy is to preventing the rupture of an aneurysm by controlling the growth of the aneurysm. The size increases very gradually as people age. Abdominal aortic diameter ≥ 3 cm typically constitutes an abdominal aortic aneurysm. However, in some cases, treatment is necessary to prevent severe symptoms … Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm . What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm? Once an aneurysm is suspected, the following imaging tests may be used to determine size, location of the aneurysm, and treatment options: Most abdominal aneurysms are diagnosed during a routine physical examination or on X-ray when being tested for other health concerns. Aortic aneurysm (Abdominal Aneurysm; Dissecting Aneurysm; Thoracic Aneurysm;) is a localized, circumscribed, blood-filled abnormal dilation of an artery caused by disease or weakening of the vessel wall.. If a person has an aortic aneurysm, it is important to make the diagnosis as early as possible, in order to prevent rupture or other complications.Doctors diagnose aortic aneurysms with imaging studies that can show the presence or absence of an aneurysm, its size, its location, and its effect on surrounding structures. An abdominal aortic aneurysm can develop slowly over the years without causing any symptoms. An abdominal aortic aneurysm usually causes a balloon-like swelling. Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) occur in the lower part of the aorta in the abdomen and result from the expansion of a weakened aorta wall. The cause is multifactorial, but atherosclerosis is often involved. Since abdominal aneurysm may not have symptoms, it's called the "silent killer" because it may rupture before being diagnosed. Normally, the aorta is about one inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter. True aneurysms involve dilation of all layers of the vessel wall. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is less likely to cause symptoms than a thoracic aortic aneurysm because there is generally more “room” in the abdomen for the aneurysm to grow before it affects other body structures. Abdominal aortic aneurysms are fairly common and can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. If the abdominal aorta becomes larger than 3 centimeters, this is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Abdominal aortic aneurysms usually do not have symptoms, but a pulsating sensation in the abdomen and/or the back has been described. Most aneurysms grow slowly (~10%/year) without causing symptoms, and most are found incidentally. Thoracic aortic aneurysm symptoms usually don’t occur until the bulge begins to leak blood, tear, or expand. Treatment for an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) As an aneurysm grows in size, the wall of the aorta becomes weaker and weaker, which means surgical intervention may be needed. Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly men, and prevalence is predicted to increase in parallel with a global aging population. The pain associated with an abdominal aortic aneurysm may be located in the abdomen, chest, lower back, or groin area. Abdominal, back, or flank pain of sudden onset is characteristic of a rapidly expanding or ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). The diagnosis should be entertained whenever a patient older than 50 years presents with abdominal pain, particularly when pain is associated with syncope or signs of hemorrhagic shock. 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