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Introduction, Causes & Risk Factors
An aneurysm is an abnormal bulging or ballooning in the walls of blood vessels carrying oxygen rich blood from the heart to various parts of the body. Aneurysms are caused by a weakening of the wall in the arteries, veins, or heart chamber and can occur due to injury, disease, or an abnormality present at birth.
An aneurysm can occur in the arteries of the brain, heart, intestines,
abdomen, neck, spleen, back of the knees, thighs and in other parts of
the body (1).
Causes & Risk Factors
The various causes which can lead to aneurysms include:
1. Atherosclerosis: On aging, a sticky substance called plaque builds up along the inside walls of the arteries and over a period of time excess plaque causes the aorta to harden and narrow the inside of arteries, thus weakening and damaging the arterial walls. This damaged portion of artery can stretch or balloon due to blood pressure inside the artery leading to an aneurysm.
Major risk factors are as follows:
Article by Kona Vishnu, MS
Diagram of where the 2 types of aoritic aneurysms can occur. Thoracic Aneurysms are located along the aorta above the kidneys, abdominal aneurysms are below the kidnesy.
Diagram highlighting cerebral (brain) aneurysm.
CAT scan of adomen showing aneurysm of the abdominal aorta.
Computerized tomography angiogram showing abdominal aneurysm (white line, below kidneys).
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