Overview of Aortic Aneurysm
When the wall of an artery becomes thin and weak, it can stretch and bulge like a balloon. This weakened area is called an aneurysm. When it happens in the aorta, it's called an aortic aneurysm.
The aorta is the main artery out of your heart and an aortic aneurysm is a dangerous condition. If it grows large enough or weak enough, the artery wall can tear (dissection) or rupture, leading to life-threatening bleeding.
Aortic aneurysms are associated with and may be caused by the following conditions:
Aortic aneurysms are classified by location in the body. Thoracic (chest) aneurysms can be ascending (just above the heart) or descending (in the back of the chest, near the spine). Abdominal aneurysms are located in the belly, below the diaphragm. Aneurysms that extend from the chest into the abdomen are called thoracoabdominal aneurysms.
This image shows the aorta, the largest artery in the body that carries blood from the heart to your brain and major organs.
This image shows an aortic aneurysm that is thoracic (in the chest) and ascending (just above the heart).
Diagnostic Tests for Aortic Aneurysm
Your doctor may order one or more tests to diagnose aortic aneurysm. The tests listed below create images that reveal the aneurysm's size, location, and severity.
Your Treatment Options for Aortic Aneurysm
Evaluating your treatment options is the first step in living a long and healthy life with aortic disease. Your care team will develop a personalized plan that accounts for your age, medical history, overall health, and the location and severity of your aortic aneurysm.
Services and Programs
Service and programs at Intermountain Heart Institute that help patients with aortic aneurysm