Dr. Roberto Rodriguez answered. 21 years experience Thoracic Surgery. It’s a condition that can affect any person and produce serious consequences. An aortic aneurysm may not produce symptoms or signs unless it ruptures. Chest pain and back pain are the two most common symptoms of large aneurysms. An aortic dissection is a tear in the lining of the aorta, which can occur in any area of weakness in the aortic wall. What are the symptoms of aortic dissection? When the abdominal aortic walls are swollen, it's known as abdominal aortic aneurysm. Abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture is most commonly presented in a classic triad of symptoms, seen in about one half of patients: Abdominal or back pain, which is sudden, sharp and severe. The aorta carries blood from your heart to your abdomen, legs, and pelvis. Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm. Thoracic aortic aneurysms are usually caused by high blood pressure or sudden injury. Aortic aneurysm: What surgery option is the best for you? An abdominal aortic aneurysm is less likely to cause symptoms than a thoracic aortic aneurysm because there is generally more “room” in the abdomen for the aneurysm to grow before it affects other body structures. 10 Tips for Living With Atrial Fibrillation, Unexpected Heart Attack Triggers You Should Know. Compression of nerve roots may cause leg pain or numbness. If an aortic aneurysm is to be successfully repaired, this surgery almost always must be done electively before rupture occurs. When it does cause symptoms or signs, these can include. Thoracic aortic aneurysm. Doctors need to act quickly if any patient with risk factors for an aortic aneurysm also describes symptoms that may be caused by such an aneurysm. An abdominal aortic aneurysm often does not cause any symptoms. A cough or shortness of breath if the aneurysm is in the area of the lungs. Aortic aneurysm symptoms. It is very important to know whether an aortic aneurysm is causing symptoms. If an aneurysm is about to rupture, it can cause a throbbing pain in the abdomen or in the back. Signs and symptoms can include deep pain in the lower back or flank and abdominal pulsations. People experiencing this complication often have the classic signs and symptoms of aortic regurgitation, including dyspnea, chest pain, palpitations, cardiac arrhythmias, and heart failure. Flowing blood can enter the tear, forcibly separating the layers of the aortic wall. Our guide will show you what puts you at risk, and how to take control of your heart health. Medline Plus. In some cases, a blood clot can form within the dilated portion of the aorta, where normal blood flow may be disrupted and areas of relative stagnation can develop. A blood clot in the aorta can embolize (break off) and travel to almost any organ in the body, often producing serious damage. When symptoms do occur, it usually indicates that the aneurysm is large and/or is growing rapidly. What are the symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm? If the doctor diagnoses you with an abdominal aneurysm, there can be a chance of blood clots. When symptoms do occur, it usually indicates that the aneurysm is large and/or is growing rapidly. In an aortic aneurysm, there may occasionally be abdominal, leg, or back pain. What are the Symptoms of an Aortic Emergency? Rupture of an aortic aneurysm is a serious emergency. About 40 percent of aortic aneurysms are thoracic, and 60 percent abdominal. Some of the symptoms, such as chest pain and jaw pain, are generally associated with a heart attack, but the sudden stabbing, radiating pain, fainting, difficulty breathing, and sometimes even sudden weakness on one side are also symptoms of an aortic event. Typically, it is only when these people are being evaluated for their apparent aortic regurgitation that the actual cause of the problem—an ascending aortic aneurysm—is identified. Thoracic aortic aneurysms often grow slowly and usually without symptoms, making them difficult to detect. This is c… Still, you might have: If the aneurysm ruptures, you might feel sick to your stomach, or suddenly develop an intense pain in your back or abdomen. Abdominal aortic aneurysm. Signs and symptoms of thoracic aortic aneurysm can include the following: Sharp, sudden pain in the chest or upper back Doctors don’t really know what causes an abdominal aortic aneurysm, although they suspect a few things might play a role: Doctors also think the risks increase if you injure yourself, have an infection, or if your blood vessels become inflamed. Symptoms of a ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysm include pain in the chest, back and neck, coughing, breathlessness, swallowing difficulties, hoarseness of the voice, swelling of the arms, and a constricted pupil and … An ascending aortic aneurysm is often found during a routine checkup or an examination ordered for another condition. Cleveland Clinic. Aortic aneurysms often produce few symptoms, though an ascending aortic aneurysm may cause chronic vocal hoarseness, and an abdominal aortic aneurysm may cause a pulsing feeling around the navel. What are the symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm? However, in other cases, an aneurysm may grow much more rapidly and become quite large, causing symptoms. Severe dilation of the aorta in this location can distort the aortic valve enough to cause the valve to malfunction. Another complication that can result from aortic aneurysm is aortic regurgitation (a leaky aortic valve). This complication can result from an aneurysm of the ascending aorta, immediately above the aortic valve. The other is in the abdomen and is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2011; 41 Suppl 1:S1. It's also often monitored on an annual basis to assess for growth. The internal bleeding and blood vessel damage that often results from a dissection can cause loss of consciousness, stroke, or other neurological damage, organ damage, or death. Richard N. Fogoros, MD, is a retired professor of medicine and board-certified in internal medicine, clinical cardiology, and clinical electrophysiology. An abdominal aortic aneurysm can occur without any symptoms, and it may not always require treatment. An extreme drop in blood pressure. Organs will not receive enough blood to function normally. Untreated, aneurysms tend to become progressively larger, although the rate of enlargement is unpredictable for any individual. Download our Aortic Aneurysm Treatment Guide We value your privacy. Tenderness or pain in the chest 2. As with any aortic aneurysm, these usually start out quite small and grow gradually. This can happen in the portion of your aorta that passes through your abdomen. There are usually no telltale signs to warn you that something is wrong. 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