The aorta is the main trunk of the arterial system that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the body. An aneurysm is defined as an abnormal widening of an artery with an increase of greater than 1.5 times the normal diameter. A weakened wall of an artery is stretched as the blood is pumped through it, often creating an egg-shaped ballooning.
An aneurysm can occur in any blood vessel in the body, but most commonly occurs in the aorta. A common site for an aortic aneurysm is the part of the vessel that is immediately below the kidneys but above the iliac arteries. This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
AAA can affect anybody, but most commonly occurs in men between the ages of 40 and 70. They occur in 5-7 % of people over the age of 60 in the United States. Even children can develop them as a result of trauma or certain medical conditions.
Treatment of AAA often requires surgery in addition to medication, but depends greatly on the individual situation.
The Medifocus Guide on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurysm?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing abdominal aortic aneurysm?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of abdominal aortic aneurysm?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm?
What treatment options are available for the management of abdominal aortic aneurysm?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in abdominal aortic aneurysm?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for abdominal aortic aneurysm?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about abdominal aortic aneurysm?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Multiple aneurysms in childhood - case report and review of the literature. European Journal of Vascular & Endovascular Surgery. 2000
Abdominal aortic aneurysms. Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. 2000
Acute occlusion of an abdominal aortic aneurysm--case report and review of the literature. Angiology. 2000
ABC of arterial and venous disease. Arterial aneurysms. BMJ. 2000
Management of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2000
Abdominal aortic aneurysms: current management. Cardiologia. 1999
Weighing risks in abdominal aortic aneurysm. Best repaired in an elective, not an emergency, procedure. Postgraduate Medicine. 1999
Abdominal and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm. Surgical Clinics of North America. 1998
The spontaneous aortocaval fistula: a complication of the abdominal aortic aneurysm. Case report and review of the literature. Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery. 1998
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