What is an aneurysm?

An aneurysm develops if part of an artery wall becomes weak which allows it to abnormally widen or balloon out. The precise causes of aneurysms are oftentimes difficult to pinpoint. In some cases, it might be congenital or occur due to an injury or aortic disease.

Having a family history of aneurysm can also increase the risk of develop one. Other common risk factors include high cholesterol, smoking and high blood pressure.

An aneurysm can develop on any part of the body, but the most common include:

  • Cerebral aneurysm which forms in the brain
  • Aortic which occurs in the main artery from the heart
  • Splenic artery occurs in an artery in the spleen

    Other common risk factors include high cholesterol, smoking and high blood pressure.

  • Popliteal which forms in the leg behind the knee
  • Mesenteric which forms in the intestine

What are the indications?

An aneurysm can form slowly over several years and does not have any symptoms. If one forms close to the skin surface, it can trigger pain along with swelling with an evident throbbing mass.

In case an aneurysm grows rapidly or ruptures, the symptoms might arise abruptly and can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Pain
  • Clammy skin
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shock

The doctor might utilize a CT scan, angiogram or ultrasound when diagnosing an aneurysm.


If an individual has a ruptured aneurysm, it is considered as a medical emergency. Call for emergency assistance and seek immediate medical care.

Once diagnosed with an unruptured aneurysm, the individual should work closely with the doctor. Depending on its location and size, regular check-ups are required to monitor any changes.

In some cases, surgery is needed to reinforce the artery wall using a stent. If the aneurysm as ballooned out to the side of the blood vessel, a coiling process might be carried out to seal off the area.


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