An aortic aneurysm occurs when a weak spot in the aorta, one of the body’s largest blood vessels going from the heart to the top of the hip, begins to bulge.
An aneurysm can happen anywhere along the aorta.
If the aneurysm is not caught and repaired in time, it can tear (called an aortic dissection), which can quickly become fatal.
Potential aortic aneurysms may be uncovered during a routine physical exam or medical tests, and then formally diagnosed with an ultrasound, echocardiogram, MRI or CT imaging procedure.
Types of aortic aneurysms
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm: occurs in the part of the aorta that passes through the stomach/abdomen area.
- Thoracic aortic aneurysm: occurs in the part of the aorta that passes through the chest.