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Aneurysm: Introduction

An aneurysm is a potentially life-threatening condition in which there is an abnormal swelling and ballooning of an artery, which can rupture and result in internal bleeding. Aneurysm is a general term that encompasses a variety of types, including aortic aneurysm and brain aneurysm. Aneurysms can occur in any artery in the body, but the most common site is in the aorta (aortic aneurysm), followed by the arteries of the brain (brain aneurysm).

An aneurysm develops when there is damage or a weakening of the wall of an artery. This weakened area can balloon out, disrupt normal blood flow, and rupture due to the force of blood flowing through the artery.

This process leads to symptoms and complications that vary depending on the specific type of aneurysm. They can include chest pain, back pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, change in consciousness, and headache. Many people have no symptoms, especially when aneurysm is small or in an early stage and has not ruptured. For more information on symptoms, refer to symptoms of aneurysm.

When certain aneurysms rupture, they cause internal arterial hemorrhage and serious, potentially life-threatening complications, such as hypotension, shock, stroke, coma and death.

Aneurysms have a variety of causes. These include a defect in the artery wall that makes the artery wall thinner and weaker than normal. Defects in artery walls can run in families and may have a genetic component. They often form in the arteries of the brain.

Another cause of an aneurysm is inflammation of the artery, which also causes weakening of the artery wall. Inflammation can be the result of such conditions as endocarditis, syphilis, or arteritis.

Damage to artery walls can also cause aneurysms. Damage can be the result of such conditions as atherosclerosis and hypertension.

When a person has symptoms of an aneurysm, making a diagnosis begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. Diagnosis also includes performing imaging tests, such as X-rays, ultrasound, or CT scan.

Because people with aneurysms frequently have no symptoms, they are often found incidentally on imaging tests that are performed for other conditions, such as a chest X-ray taken for pneumonia.

A diagnosis can also be delayed because of a lack of symptoms. A misdiagnosis is possible, because when the symptoms do occur, they can mimic the symptoms of other conditions, such as a myocardial infarction. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of aneurysm.

Treatment of an aneurysm varies depending on the size, location, and type of aneurysm. The prognosis is good for people who have prompt treatment of an aneurysm. If an aneurysm is not treated until after it ruptures, serious life-threatening complications, such as hypovolemic shock, stroke, coma, and death are far more likely to occur. The fatality rate of ruptured brain aneurysm, or ruptured aortic aneurysm is about 50 percent.

For some types of aneurysms that are not large or do not threaten health, a "watch and wait" approach might be taken. Brain aneurysms or aortic aneurysms that are at risk for rupturing are generally treated with surgery. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of aneurysm....more »

Aneurysm: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of aneurysm may missed because its symptoms may be mistaken for symptoms of such conditions as myocardial infarction or migraine headache. For people with a prior diagnosis of migraine headache, it can be easy to assume that a severe headache is simply a migraine. This can result in a delay in seeking medical care and a diagnosis of a brain aneurysm.

Often, people ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Aneurysm:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Aneurysm. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Aneurysm: Causes | Symptom Checker » | Assessment Questionnaire »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Aneurysm

Home medical tests possibly related to Aneurysm:

Causes of Types of Aneurysm:

Review the causes of these more specific types of Aneurysm:

Aneurysm: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Aneurysm, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

Symptom Checker

Symptom Checker

Aneurysm Treatments

Because some types of aneurysms can be life-threatening, prompt diagnosis and treatment of the condition is key to maintaining health and preserving life. The fatality rate of ruptured brain aneurysm, or ruptured aortic aneurysm is about 50 percent.

Ideally, aneurysms should be treated before they rupture and cause serious life-threatening complications, such as hypovolemic ...Aneurysm Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Aneurysm may include:

Review further information on Aneurysm Treatments.

Stories from Users for Aneurysm

Real-life user stories relating to Aneurysm:

Message Boards for Aneurysm

Symptom specific forums: The following patient stories in our interactive forums and message boards relate to Aneurysm or relevant symptoms:

Aneurysm: Animations

Aneurysm: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Aneurysm may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Aneurysm

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Aneurysm:

Assessment Questionnaire: Questions your doctor may ask (and why!)

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Aneurysm. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist here.

See Aneurysm Assessment Questionnaire (24 listings)

Aneurysm: Deaths

Read more about causes and Aneurysm deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Aneurysm

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It is altogether too common for people to die from undiagnosed heart attack, more »

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually have something milder. Some of the conditions which may be causes of chest pain, causing fear of more »

Unnecessary hysterectomies due to undiagnosed bleeding disorder in women: The bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand's disease is quite more »

Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations and rapid heartbeat. In rare cases, this undiagnosed condition can be fatal. It should more »

Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed, leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed. People become concerned that a condition is a heart attack, whereas there are various less dangerous possibilities. After all, there more »

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure. The "cuff" around the arm to more »

Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its more »

Aneurysm: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Aneurysm

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Aneurysm:

Aneurysm: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Aneurysm: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Definitions of Aneurysm:

A cardiovascular disease characterized by a sac-like widening of an artery resulting from weakening of the artery wall
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Protruding sac in the wall of a vein, artery, or heart, frequently caused by microbial infection; may present as pain, pressure on nearby organs, or cardiac weakening.
- (Source - CRISP)

Organs affected by Aneurysm:

The list of organs typically affected by Aneurysm may include, but is not limited to:

Detailed list of causes of Aneurysm

The list below shows some of the causes of Aneurysm mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Aneurysm?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Aneurysm. Of the 29 causes of Aneurysm that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 0 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 3 causes are "common" diseases
  • 2 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 1 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 2 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 26 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Aneurysm:

The following list of conditions have 'Aneurysm' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Aneurysm or choose View All.






Conditions listing medical complications: Aneurysm:

The following list of medical conditions have Aneurysm or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.










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Causes of Aneurysm Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Aneurysm based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?
  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Doctors and specialists: Who should I consult about Aneurysm?

    Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Aneurysm, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.

    Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :

    Classifications of Aneurysm:

    Subtypes of Aneurysm:

    Aneurysms (20 causes)

    Medical Conditions associated with Aneurysm:

    Blood vessel symptoms (480 causes), Artery symptoms (83 causes), Circulatory system symptoms (1579 causes)

    Symptoms related to Aneurysm:

    Blood vessel symptoms (480 causes), Aortic aneurysm, Abdominal aortic aneurysm, Artery symptoms (83 causes), Aorta symptoms, Cardiovascular symptoms (3192 causes), Cerebral aneurysm, Sudden death (180 causes), Haemorrhage, Arteries, Hypertension (398 causes)

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Aneurysm:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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