Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Common Name(s)

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is when the lower part of the aorta becomes enlarged, like a balloon. The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It carries blood from the heart down along the backbone where it splits into many smaller arteries that bring blood to all of the organs. Aneurysm is a general term that describes an enlargement of any blood vessel in the body. Aneurysms usually develop slowly over time and may not cause problems until they become so enlarged that they can rupture.

Smaller AAAs generally do not cause symptoms. Larger AAAs can cause symptoms such as a pulsating feeling near the belly button, deep and constant abdominal pain, or back pain. Rupture of an aortic aneurysm is a medical emergency. If an aortic aneurysm ruptures, symptoms include vomiting, intense pain, excessive sweating, a drop in blood pressure, fainting, and shortness of breath.

AAAs can be caused by stiffening of the artery walls due to plaque build up (atherosclerosis), infection of the aorta, or connective tissue diseases. Risk factors for the development of AAAs are increased in individuals who smoke, are male, or have a family history of aneurysms.

A doctor can perform many tests to diagnose this condition. Possible tests include imaging by abdominal ultrasound, chest X-ray, and MRI. Treatment options will vary depending on the size of the aneurysm. For smaller aneurysms, it may be better to wait and watch before seeking surgery. For larger aneurysms that are at risk of rupturing, surgery is usually the best treatment. Talk to your doctor about which of the current treatment options is right for you.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Abdominal aortic aneurysm" for support, advocacy or research.

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Canadian Marfan Association

Increasing awareness, saving lives, and improving the quality of life for patients, their families, and medical professionals affected by Marfan syndrome, genetic aortic disorders, and related connective tissue disorders through national programs of education, support, and research.

Last Updated: 22 Jan 2013

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How do you compare to others with this condition?

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Abdominal aortic aneurysm" for support, advocacy or research.

Logo
Canadian Marfan Association

Increasing awareness, saving lives, and improving the quality of life for patients, their families, and medical professionals affected by Marfan syndrome, genetic aortic disorders, and related connective tissue disorders through national programs of education, support, and research.

http://www.marfan.ca

Last Updated: 22 Jan 2013

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Abdominal aortic aneurysm" returned 1839 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Novel surgical treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm complicated with primary aorto-colonic fistula: A case report.
 

Author(s): Maoxun Huang, Hulin Piao, Yong Wang, Weitie Wang, Shibo Wei, Chulong Xie, Kexiang Liu

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Aug;97(33):e11890.

 

Primary aorto-colonic fistula is a rare complication of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Without surgical treatment, the associated mortality rate is 100%. Even if patients receive timely surgical treatment, they may still die of complications such as infection.

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Should we screen women for abdominal aortic aneurysm?
 

Author(s): Minna Johansson, Karsten Juhl Jørgensen

Journal: Lancet. 2018 08;392(10146):454-456.

 

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Comparative effectiveness of open surgery versus endovascular repair for hemodynamically stable and unstable ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.
 

Author(s): Tiehao Wang, Jichun Zhao, Ding Yuan, Yukui Ma, Bin Huang, Yi Yang, Guojun Zeng

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Jul;97(27):e11313.

 

Several observational studies and randomized trials have compared open surgery (OS) and endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) for ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (rAAA). However, none of these studies addressed optimal management of hemodynamically (hd) unstable patients. Our objective ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Abdominal aortic aneurysm" returned 179 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

[Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm].
 

Author(s): V Tchana-Sato, N Sakalihasan, J O Defraigne

Journal: Rev Med Liege. 2018 May;73(5-6):296-299.

 

Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm is a cardiovascular emergency associated with a 30 day mortality as high as 70 %. However, recent progresses in the management of these patients have improved the results. From a surgical point of view, endovascular methods such as balloon occlusion ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Do psychological harms result from being labelled with an unexpected diagnosis of abdominal aortic aneurysm or prostate cancer through screening? A systematic review.
 

Author(s): Anne R Cotter, Kim Vuong, Linda Mustelin, Yi Yang, Malika Rakhmankulova, Colleen J Barclay, Russell P Harris

Journal:

 

A potential psychological harm of screening is unexpected diagnosislabelling. We need to know the frequency and severity of this harm to make informed decisions about screening. We asked whether current evidence allows an estimate of any psychological harm of labelling. As case studies, ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Meta-analysis of the association between alcohol consumption and abdominal aortic aneurysm.
 

Author(s): S M Spencer, A J Trower, X Jia, D J A Scott, D C Greenwood

Journal: Br J Surg. 2017 Dec;104(13):1756-1764.

 

Alcohol is a possible risk factor for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), but evidence from individual studies is weak and inconsistent. Existing narrative reviews suggest the possibility of non-linear associations. The aim here was to quantify any association using a systematic literature ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

The Inter and Intra Reliability of Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Patients
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

 

Last Updated: 21 Nov 2016

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Magnetic Resonance Elastography in Patients With Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

 

Last Updated: 13 Nov 2017

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