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aneurysmAn aneurysm is an abnormal widening or ballooning of a portion of an artery due to increased blood pressure and can occur throughout the body. It may be due to defects or weakness in some of the parts of the blood vessel wall. Bursting of an aneurysm can lead to stroke. Some aneurysms are present at birth (congenital) and some cause due to an underlying disease.

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It is not known why a person develops aneurysm. However, some aneurysms are present at birth (congenital). It can also develop due to persistent stress to that part of the artery wall leading to aneurysm of that particular part of the body.


Depending upon the area of the body that is affected, aneurysm can be classified into 4 different types.

Cerebral aneurysm: Although other arteries within the brain may develop aneurysms, the circle of Willis is one of the most common sites. It consists of major clump of arteries that lie at the base of the brain, which are prone to developing aneurysms.

Aortic aneurysm: In this type, the major artery that leaves the heart is affected leading to aneurysm.

Popliteal aneurysm: It occurs when the popliteal artery found behind the knee is affected.

Splenic aneurysm: This type of aneurysm occurs when the splenic artery, a major artery in the spleen is affected. Commonly seen in pregnant women, this type of aneurysm is caused spontaneously and cannot be linked to any congenital defect.

Risk Factors

There are few factors that increase your risk of suffering from aneurysm. These include –


Usually most aneurysms do not show any symptoms. Although depending upon the area and the artery that is affected, you may experience few signs and symptoms.

  • If an artery closer to the skin has one, there may be throbbing pain and swelling.

  • A rupture of an aneurysm can lead to low blood pressure, pain, rapid heart rate, light-headedness and severe internal bleeding that can eventually kill a person.

  • A thunderclap headache can cause brain aneurysm leading to seizures and temporary failure of any organ. Bursting of such an aneurysm can lead to stroke.

  • Rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) can be fatal due to a large quantity of blood spilling out in the abdominal cavity.


Aneurysm is diagnosed with the help of few tests such as -

CT scan: Aneurysm's related to the blood vessels of the kidney or other parts of the body including brain are detected with this method. Also, these tests play a vital role to determine the growth of a thoracic aortic aneurysm.

Ultrasound: In most cases, an ultrasound of the area affected helps in knowing the exact region that is affected thereby aiding in the treatment.

MRI: This machine works by sending pulses of radio waves and magnetic fields into the body to get an accurate image of the organs and structures within. Here’s detailed information about MRI.


Various treatment options are present depending on the location and extent of progression of the condition.

Medications: Your doctor will monitor the growth of the aneurysm closely if it can be managed with constant monitoring and medication. A small aneurysm is usually managed with constant monitoring and medications.

Surgery: If the aneurysm is large, you will be advised to undergo surgery to get treated. There are a number of types of surgical options your doctor might use. One of the most minimally invasive techniques is called endovascular embolization, a technique where the doctor will use a stent to support the wall of the artery and help keep it open.

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The complications of an untreated aneurysm can be fatal. Since an artery in the body has ruptured, it leads to severe internal bleeding that can eventually kill a person, if treatment is not sought immediately.

Read about dangers and complications of high and uncontrolled blood pressure.


In order to keep aneurysms at bay, you need to follow few precautionary measures without fail. These include -

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