Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
An aneurysm indicates a localized dilation of a blood vessel. An aortic aneursym is a medical condition where a large artery bulges. This usually occurs due to some inherent weakness in the aortic wall at a particular location. Abdominal aortic aneurysm generally occurs due to infection, congenital weakening of the arterial wall or trauma. With an aortic aneurysm, there is a risk of rupture and possible internal hemorrhage. Rupture of an aneurysm is a medical emergency. If not treated immediately, this condition can be fatal. Men are more likely to develop abdominal aortic aneurysm. Typically this condition occurs in the age group of 60 - 70 years.
Cigarettte smoking, hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol can increase the risk of developing aortic aneurysm. Most of the time abdominal aortic aneurysm is asymptomatic. This condition is often noticed during abdominal scan or CT scan. Often aortic aneurysms develop over time. The common cause of an aortic aneursym is arteriosclerosis. This consequently leads to weakened aortic walls. An abdominal aortic aneurysm may cause throbbing in a part of the abdominal mass. But if there has been a rupture, it can result in severe pain in the lower back. The person is likely to feel faint and light headed. There is excessive thirst and tachycardia.
Abdominal x-rays and angriography of aorta can help reveal an aortic aneurysm. The complications of an aortic aneurysm include myocardial infection, arterial embolism and stroke. Medications are prescribed to those suffering from small aortic aneurysms. This can slow down the rate of growth of the aneurysm. Surgical treatment of aortic aneurysm involves opening up the aortal dilation and inserting a patch tube. Surgery is resorted to depending on the state of the aneurysm and its risk of rupture. Using a stent is another option for abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Dissecting Thoracic Aneurysm
Aneurysm refers to a localized dilation or widening of an artery, especially in the abdominal aorta. Dilation occurs to an extent more than 50%. Dissecting thoracic aneurysm is a condition where a tear occurs on the thoracic aorta. This creates a passage for blood between the aortal layers and leads to a dangerous condition. A false channel is thus created for the arterial blood. Besides it may hamper the blood supply to tributary arteries.
When there is excessive dilation of the artery, an aortic aneurysm can rupture. Internal bleeding can result and can be life-threatening. Usually the symptoms begin to appear when the aneurysm has become fairly large. A person suffering from dissecting thoracic aneurysm experiences severe abdominal and back pain. The pain is high up on the back, between the shoulder blades. There is increased risk of stroke or heart attack. The voice becomes hoarse and there is difficulty in swallowing. Persons suffering from dissection may experience symptoms similar to paraplegia or stroke due to impaired blood supply to the spinal chord and limbs. Marfan's syndrome is a variant of this condition. Traumatic aneurysms are caused by injury to the chest or blunt chest trauma.
Diagnosis of dissecting thoracic aneurysm is done with a routine physical examination as well as chest and abdominal x-rays. MRI scan also helps in determining the precise location of the aneurysm. Transthoracic ultrasonography aids in accurate sizing of the aneurysm. Patients suffering from thoracic aneurysm condition are advised to avoid smoking and get regular medical check ups done. Blood pressure must be lowered with drugs to reduce the impact on the aortal tear. Surgical treatment for dissecting thoracic aneurysm involves replacing the affected part of the aorta with a synthetic graft.
Cerebral aneurysm occurs when a weakness in the blood vessel of the brain causes it to bulge. This can be congenital or caused due to injury. A few cerebral aneurysms might rupture especially in cases of hypertension. A person suffering cerebral aneursym might suffer loss of vision, double vision and headaches. There might be increased intracranial pressure and swelling of the optic nerve. Brain MRI or CAT are taken to ascertain presence and location and size of Cerebral aneurysm. Spinal tap might be done.
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: March 20, 2019