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Aortic aneurysm: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and complications of the aorta

Aortic aneurysm is a serious pathology, which in the initial stages may be asymptomatic. Previously, this diagnosis and its complications almost always led to the death of the patient.

Now modern diagnostic and therapeutic equipment allows you to notice a modified portion of the vessel in its early stages and prevent aortic rupture. Consider what constitutes this problem and approaches to its treatment.


Aortic Aneurysm - What is it?

What is an aortic aneurysm

The aorta is the largest vessel. It has three sections: ascending, descending and arc. In turn, the descending part is subdivided into the thoracic and abdominal part.

Aortic aneurysm is a protrusion of the wall or expansion of a separate area, which occurs due to pathological changes in the vessel walls.

In the area of ​​the aneurysm, the vascular wall is thin and weak and may not withstand the pressure of the blood due to the rupture of the vessel at the site of the aneurysm. The risk of developing this terrible complication depends on its size (the more - the higher), comorbidities of the patient and other factors.

Classification of aortic aneurysms

Depending on the location, they are divided into aneurysms of the aortic arch, chest, abdomen, ascending part, or combined. In addition, they are divided:

  • by reason of occurrence: congenital or acquired;
  • in appearance and form: sacculate, lateral, fusiform;
  • on the clinical course: asymptomatic, complicated (thrombosis, stratification, rupture), uncomplicated, atypical;
  • According to the structure: true (the wall has the same structure as the vessel itself) and false (the wall is formed by scar tissue).

Causes of Aortic Aneurysm

Types of Aortic Aneurysm

Types of Aortic Aneurysm

For reasons of occurrence, there are two types of aneurysms. Congenital abnormalities are caused by intrauterine development.

The cause of the development of acquired aneurysms are various diseases:

  1. Atherosclerosis. This is a chronic pathology in which pathological plaques are deposited on the walls of the vessels, and the vessels themselves lose their usual elasticity and elasticity. This is one of the most common causes of this disease.
  2. Hereditary diseases and genetic abnormalities. Some hereditary diseases predispose to the development of this pathology, for example, Marfan syndrome is a hereditary pathology of the connective tissue. When it is in most patients, there is a stratifying aortic aneurysm, which is fatal.
  3. Some specific infections. For example, syphilis or tuberculosis can cause weakness and thinning of the aortic wall and the development of aneurysm of different departments.
  4. Nonspecific infectious processes (bacterial endocarditis, etc.).
  5. Autoimmune vascular disease (Takayasu syndrome).
  6. Injuries. Thus, an abdominal aortic aneurysm is more often formed, for example, after a blow to the abdomen.

Important! In the medical literature there are cases when the cause of the development of aneurysm was a fungal vascular disease on the background of reduced immunity.

In addition to a specific reason, there are a number of contributing factors that may increase the risk of developing this disease:

  • gender - this problem is more common in men;
  • age - the older the person, the higher the likelihood of this problem;
  • smoking and alcohol abuse, because it affects the condition of the vessels;
  • overweight and low physical activity;
  • unbalanced nutrition;
  • high blood pressure with no control.

Symptoms of aortic aneurysm

Aortic aneurysm symptoms

This pathology may not be accompanied by severe symptoms and often makes itself felt only at the time of the complication. Sometimes the symptoms of an aortic aneurysm bother the patient. It depends on its size and location.

Let's stop on the basic clinical signs:

  • Ascending aorta. Pain in the chest, lower jaw, sometimes patients are worried about snoring and breathing problems.
  • Abdominal aorta. Pain in the back, abdomen and chest. A dry cough may disturb the patient, hoarseness of the voice appears less often and breathing problems begin. - abdominal aorta. Symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurysm may be manifested by a feeling of discomfort in the abdomen, pain in the epigastric region and back, and pulsation.
  • Stratifying aortic aneurysm. If its separation occurs, the clinical picture becomes more diverse: the blood pressure drops sharply, the patient is worried about severe pain in the chest or abdomen, there are signs of shock (clouding of consciousness, convulsions, respiratory failure, etc.)

Diagnosis of the disease

Since the disease in most cases is asymptomatic, it is usually detected by chance during a routine examination. To determine the presence of aneurysm of a department, you can use:

  • contrast angiography;
  • CT and MRI ;
  • Ultrasound of blood vessels;
  • radiography with contrast.

The diagnostic method is chosen by the attending physician in view of the alleged localization of the problem.

Aortic aneurysm treatment

Aortic aneurysm treatment

Approaches to the treatment of an aortic aneurysm depend on its size, location, and concomitant diseases of the patient. When it is asymptomatic and small in size, the doctor may only recommend dynamic observation.

Then its parameters are regularly checked and monitored for growth and development. If the size does not increase, then carry out treatment, which involves the elimination of risk factors and control of blood pressure.

Emergency surgical treatment is carried out at its rupture. A planned operation for abdominal aortic aneurysm (as well as another department) is to replace part of the modified vessel with a special vascular prosthesis.

Together with traditional operations for abdominal aortic aneurysms, endovascular interventions are used. In these cases, an endoprosthesis is inserted into the area of ​​the aneurysm through a puncture of the femoral vein using a special catheter, which is fixed above and below the aneurysm section.

Such operations are easier tolerated by patients, and the rehabilitation period takes only 3-4 days. You can not hold them in all situations.

Aortic aneurysm complications

Negative consequences of this pathology can be:

  • a rupture accompanied by massive internal bleeding and usually results in the death of the patient;
  • infection of the aneurysm, which spreads to the surrounding soft tissue;
  • thrombosis and thromboembolism of other vessels;
  • stratification - while blood penetrates between the layers of the vessel wall and gradually stratifies it in the course of the movement of blood.

Prognosis and prevention

The prognosis depends on the size of the aneurysm, its localization and the presence of complications. So, before with Marfan syndrome in most patients, death from rupture of the aneurysm occurred by 30-35 years.

Modern drugs and technology can increase the life expectancy by about half. Early treatment allows you to avoid many problems in this pathology.

Prevention is the elimination of risk factors. If the sex and age can not be affected in any way, then adjust the weight and establish a healthy lifestyle under the force of any person.

Aortic aneurysm is a terrible disease. Timely health monitoring and preventive measures will help to cope with it without life-threatening consequences.


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