Abdominal Aortic Aneursyms

Topics: Abdominal aortic aneurysm, Aortic aneurysm, Aneurysm Pages: 4 (1118 words) Published: February 7, 2013
Aneurysms were first described by the 16th century anatomist and physician Vesalius, who believed they were simply a widening of the vessel (Collin et al 2009). An abdominal aneurysm (AAA) is a condition in which the abdominal aorta (a large blood vessel that supplies blood to the abdominal, pelvis and the lower limbs) becomes large and ballooning leading to the development of several symptoms. The condition more often occurs in males compared to females. It occurs more frequently in above the age 60. When the aortic aneurysm is larger than size, it is more likely to rupture causing life-threating problems. This is a medical emergency requiring critical care. This complication is present in about 20% of the people affected with AAA. Another complication with AAA is aortic dissection in which the innermost membrane of the blood vessel ruptures due to the intense pressure causing blood to be filled within the wall of the artery. The exact cause of the disorder has still not been understood clearly, but several risk factors may be present including:- * Hypertension

* High cholesterol levels
* Obesity
* Emphysema
* Genetic factors
* Smoking (Albright JL. 2006 & Hallett JW. 2008)
Individuals affected with AAA initially may not have any symptoms. Symptoms of the condition usually develop suddenly due to rupture of the wall or breakage of the innermost wall. Sudden rupture of the abdominal aortic aneurysm, often without prior medical warning, is the 13th leading cause of morality in the US (Li, Z 2006). Some of the symptoms that can develop in AAA include:- * Abdominal pain (which may be severe, consistent and radiates to the legs, groin and the buttocks region) * Pulsations in the abdomen & palpitations

* Nausea and vomiting
* Anxiety and agitation
* Abdominal rigidity
* Cold and clammy skin
* Presence of the abdominal mass
* Excruciating pain in the limbs and back, when the AAA ruptures * Fatal...
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