What is Atherosclerotic Disease of the Abdominal Aorta?

Q:
What is atherosclerotic disease of the abdominal aorta?

A:
The aorta is the largest blood vessel that carrying blood from heart to other parts of human body. If the walls of aorta become weak, they will swell or bulge out. When this happens in your abdomen, it can be call atherosclerotic disease of the abdominal aorta, also known as abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).

Symptoms:

AAAs usually cause no problems, but it can be life-threatening once it ruptures. The following symptoms may indicate aneurysms have ruptured:

  • Sudden pain in your abdomen or back
  • Pain spreading from your abdomen or back to your pelvis, legs, or buttocks
  • Clammy or sweaty skin
  • Increased heart rate
  • Shock or loss of consciousness

Causes:

While the exact causes are still unknown, these factors may increase your risk of this condition:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Vascular inflammation (vasculitis)
  • Infection in the aorta
  • Heredity
  • Trauma

Diagnosis:

Abdominal aortic aneurysms that haven’t ruptured are usually diagnosed when your abdomen is examined for other conditions. Doctors may use one of the following tests to make a diagnosis:

  • CT scan of the abdomen
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Chest X-ray
  • Abdominal MRI

Treatment:

Depending on the size and location of your aneurysm, doctor will perform open abdominal surgery or endovascular surgery to remove or repair the damaged tissue. The former surgery is used to remove damaged areas of your aorta when aneurysm is very large or has already ruptured. Comparatively, endovascular surgery is less invasive. The weakened walls of your aorta will be stabilized by this option.

Since abdominal aortic aneurysm is likely to rupture and become life-threatening, visit your doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you have this condition.

Keywords: atherosclerotic disease of the abdominal aorta; abdominal aortic aneurysm; symptoms; causes; diagnosis; treatment

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.