Diagnosis and Treatment for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

An aneurysm is a bulge (dilation) in the wall of an artery, usually the aorta. The bulge may compromise the structural integrity of the wall it causes a partial tear (along with blood leakage), or even a rupture of the arterial vessel. Aneurysms may occur an any of the arteries of the body, though they are most commonly discovered in the abdominal aorta. Aneurysms are either fusiform (tubelike) or saccular (round) swellings. Most are tube like bulges.

The causes of this condition may be hereditary, or as a result of certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking or high blood pressure. Arteriosclerosis is one of the most common causes of the conditions. Arteriosclerosis is a disease of the blood vessels where the artery becomes thicker and more elastic, usually due to the accumulation of fatty material under the inner lining of the arterial wall (endothelium). Arteriosclerosis can cause a weakness of the arterial wall to the point that the pressure inside causes it to balloon outwards.

Diagnosis. It is never too early to diagnose and treat this condition, because it could become a life threatening problem. Pain, either experienced in the abdomen or the back is one of the symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Hopefully, the condition would be correctly diagnosed before the late symptom of pain is experienced. The condition may be discovered early through a careful routine physical examination or X-Ray radiography. A doctor may be suspicion of an aneurysm by feeling a pulsating mass in the midline of the abdomen while conduction a hands on examination of a patient. A patient with an aneurysm that is close to the point of rupture may feel a pain or tenderness around the area as it is pressed on during a physical examination. Detection of even advanced cases of this condition may be more difficult in patients with severe or morbid obesity.

There are several diagnostic procedures that are specialized to detect and photograph abdominal aortic Aneurysms. An abdominal x-ray may show an aneurysm that has calcium deposits in its wall. An ultrasound (sonography) can reveal the size and diameter of an aneurysm. Other more sophisticated tests to determine the precise location, shape, and size of the aneurysm includes the CT scan (Computed Tomography). CT medical imaging for this condition includes the intravenous injection of a dye (for clarity and contrast) into the suspected region of the aneurysm, following the CT imaging to get very detailed images for the radiologists and surgeons. The MRI is another more sophisticated and higher resolution medical imaging resource that doctors may use to determine the exact size and location of the aneurysm. The CT and MRI are more costly than the less expensive and X-Ray and ultrasound, and may not be necessary to get the accurate information the doctors need to diagnose and then treat the disease/condition.

Diagnosis and treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Surgical intervention will be necessary to treat this potentially life threatening condition if the aneurysm is in danger of rupture. Surgeons will usually recommend more conservative measures if the diameter is less then 2 inches in diameter, and surgical treatment for greater than 2 inches wide. Though surgery for this condition is very dangerous, it is also medically necessary, because untreated ruptured aneurysms have a near 100% fatality rate.

Read more about treatment for aneurysms.