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Aortic Aneurysm

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What is Aortic Aneurysm?

The aorta of the human heart is the largest blood vessel in the human body. It is the carrier of oxygenated blood from the heart to all parts of our body. The aorta originates at the left ventricle of the heart and runs down all the way to the abdomen where it branches into three arteries. It helps push thousands of liters of blood into our body, during our lifetime. It is tough and durable, but sometimes, the walls of the aorta can weaken and burst, causing serious bleeding inside the body. This is called aortic aneurysm.

Aortic aneurysm is of two types: Thoracic aortic aneurysm (when the weak segment of the aorta is found inside the chest area); and Abdominal aortic aneurysm (when the weak segment of the aorta is inside the abdominal cavity). Abdominal aortic aneurysm is the most common variety of aneurysm.


During the initial stages, it is difficult to find out the existence of this condition. This is because the symptoms show up only when the aorta becomes large or when it bursts. Although, there is no telltale signal that an abdominal aortic aneurysm might give you, the symptoms generally are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Chest or back pain
  • Difficulty in breathing and swallowing
  • Throbbing sensation near the navel
  • Deep pain on the side of the abdomen
  • Sick feeling in the stomach or vomiting, sweating and dizziness if aneurysm ruptures


Although cardiologists do not know for certain what causes abdominal aortic aneurysm, some of the most probable causes include:

  • Genetic defects
  • Infection
  • Plaque buildup in the arteries (Atherosclerosis)
  • Sudden traumatic injury


The main risk factors are:

  • Age over 65 years
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Plaque buildup in the arteries (Atherosclerosis)
  • Men are more susceptible to this condition
  • Family history in first-degree relatives


To prevent the occurrence of Aortic Aneurysm, these are certain things one should take care of:

  • Focus on your heart health. Live a healthy lifestyle
  • Avoid smoking
  • Control high blood pressure and cholesterol

How is it diagnosed?

At Sumitra hospital, the following technologies are used to find the existence of an aneurysm:

  • 256 Slice CT scanning
  • PET CT Heart
  • X-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • CT Scanning
  • Ultrasound scanning