Symptoms of aneurysms may depend on their location. Aneurysms near the body’s surface may cause pain and swelling. Abdominal aortic aneurysms may cause abdominal, back or groin pain. Thoracic aortic aneurysms may cause hoarseness, swelling in the neck or swallowing problems.
Undetected aneurysms can rupture and be life-threatening, requiring emergency care right away. A ruptured aneurysm causes sudden and severe pain. You can also lose consciousness or go into shock depending on the amount of bleeding.
Physicians typically diagnose aneurysms through a physical examination. As an aneurysm grows, pressure builds and a physician may feel a tender or pulsating mass in an exam.
Who should be screened for potential Aneurysms?
Men and women over age 60 and those with a family history of aneurysms should be screened. Often, aneurysms are found during routine exams.
An abdominal duplex ultrasound screening can identify an abdominal aneurysm before a rupture allowing vascular surgeons to perform preventative treatment.
Other screening tools used for detecting aneurysms include:
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- Computed Tomography (CT)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)