An aneurysm is a weakening in the wall of an artery. The wall stretches and becomes dilated (an increase in diameter) and thin. There is risk of rupture and internal bleeding. Aneurysms most commonly occur in the brain, aorta, legs and spleen. There is an increased incidence of aneurysm in patients with atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Lifestyle, exercise and diet play a key role in risk management. Medical management will depend on the size and location.
Etiology of aneurysms are not fully understood, although some risk factors have been identified:
- Excessive alcohol intake.
- Drug abuse.
- High blood pressure.
Signs and Symptoms
- Most are asymptomatic, although ruptured aneurysms produced life threatening bleeds.
- A large aneurysm may obstruct circulation to other tissue.
- Extreme Headache.
- CT scan.
- If the aneurysm is small, uncomplicated and not symptomatic then it may be observed with regular imaging.
- Endovascular stent grafting.
- Open surgical repair.