Aneurysms are potentially-fatal conditions that occur in weakened areas of blood vessels with a host of risk factors both in and out of our control. These include but are not limited to obesity, being a smoker, high blood pressure, a family history of aneurysms, and being older. There are a number of warning signs you can look out for that depend on where the aneurysm in question is occurring, such as pain in different parts of the body, sudden, severe headaches, or even a loss of consciousness. But how are aneurysms diagnosed?
Cedars-Sinai lists various tests that are traditionally used to look for and identify aneurysms, depending on their location:
- MRIs use a computer, large magnets, and radio waves to create detailed images of organs and other bodily structures.
- CT Scans are imaging tests that use X-rays and computers to create horizontal images of the body; they’re more detailed than X-rays.
- Ultrasounds utilize high-frequency soundwaves and a computer to create images of organs, tissues, and blood vessels as they function.
- Angiograms (arteriograms) take X-rays of blood vessels to further investigate a host of conditions, including aneurysms and blockages. Dyes used for contrast are also injected through an artery in order to make your blood vessels visible on the X-ray.
- Echocardiograms (echoes) evaluate the heart’s structure and function using sound waves recorded on an electronic sensor, producing a moving picture of the heart and its valves.
It is important to be vigilant when it comes to aneurysms, because they can be potentially fatal. This occurs if an aneurysm ruptures; one can perhaps even die within minutes of this occurring.
An Ezra full-body MRI may find aneurysms in three areas: your brain, abdomen, and pelvis. If you’re interested in learning about our screening plans, you can learn more by visiting this link.