An aneurysm is a weak area of a blood vessel’s wall; the phenomenon can occur in any blood vessel, but most frequently forms in arteries as opposed to veins. They may be categorized based on their cause, location, or shape.
Aneurysms can occur in various body parts, including the:
- Blood vessels
The most common type of aneurysm manifests in the aorta, which is the body’s largest artery. It carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to other body parts. There are two major types of aortic aneurysms:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysms occur in the abdomen.
- Thoracic aortic aneurysms occur in the chest cavity.
Other types of aneurysms include cerebral, common iliac, femoral, and popliteal artery aneurysms. The symptoms of each vary; their underlying causes could vary as well:
- Cerebral aneurysms may be present at birth, caused by high blood pressure, a head injury, or atherosclerosis (arterial hardening).
- Femoral and popliteal artery aneurysms could originate in atherosclerosis, congenital disorders, or an injury.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) could be caused by an infection, genetic disorder, atherosclerosis (especially in the area of the abdominal aorta that’s below the kidneys), or giant cell arteritis (a disease that leads to inflammation of arteries in the head and neck).
- Common iliac artery aneurysms may be caused by an infection, pregnancy, atherosclerosis, or an injury after hip or lumbar surgery.
What all of the above have in common, however, is that these phenomena could lead to a breakdown in an arterial wall, ultimately leading to an aneurysm.
Aneurysms can be asymptomatic, but can also show different signs depending on where in the body they are. These include:
- Groin, lower abdominal, or back pain if you have a common iliac aneurysm.
- Leg pain, pulsating of the artery behind your knee, or sores on your feet or lower legs if you have a popliteal artery aneurysm.
- Nausea/vomiting, visual disturbance, a sudden, severe headache, and sometimes even loss of consciousness if you have a cerebral aneurysm.
- Pulsating of the artery in your groin, pain in your leg, or sores in your lower legs or feet if you have a femoral aneurysm.
- Persistent pain in your lower back, abdomen, chest, or groin if you have an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
A ruptured aneurysm can be fatal, so it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of them.
An Ezra scan may detect an aneurysm in your brain, abdomen, or pelvis; you can learn more about our scanning packages here.