An aneurysm is a weak area of a blood vessel’s wall that can occur in various body parts, such as the intestines, spleen, aorta, brain, neck, or kidneys.
The most common type of aneurysm develops in our aorta, the largest artery found in our body. Its function is to carry blood that is rich in oxygen from our heart to other body parts. Aortic aneurysms are divided into two main types: abdominal aortic aneurysms, which occur in our abdomen, and thoracic aortic aneurysms, which occur in our chest cavity.
Other types of aneurysms include popliteal artery, femoral, common iliac, and cerebral aneurysms.
The symptoms and underlying causes of each type of aneurysm will vary depending on the type of aneurysm in question. Femoral and popliteal artery aneurysms may be caused by atherosclerosis (arterial hardening), an injury, or congenital disorders. Common iliac artery aneurysms could be caused by pregnancy, infection, atherosclerosis, or an injury sustained after lumbar or hip surgery. Cerebral aneurysms could be present at birth, or caused by a head injury, atherosclerosis, or high blood pressure. Finally, abdominal aortic aneurysms may be caused by atherosclerosis, a genetic disorder, infection, or giant cell arteritis (a disease that causes inflammation of the arteries in our head and neck).
An Ezra full-body MRI may find aneurysms in your brain, abdomen or pelvis; your physician will then help determine the best next steps are, depending on your particular situation. In addition to MRIs, there are a number of other ways to detect aneurysms, which are treated via a method known as coiling. There are a number of risk factors that can and can’t be helped, as well as potential signs to look out for.
A ruptured aneurysm can indeed be life-threatening, but can they be fatal? Unfortunately, the answer is yes: aneurysms may become fatal if they rupture, and one can die within minutes.
The best way to make sure you stay safe from a potential aneurysm rupture is vigilance: keep an eye out for potential signs, and get screened for them regularly if you know you’re at a high risk of developing them. You can learn more about our screening options here at Ezra by following this link.