Tears in the wall of the aorta (dissection) are the main complications of abdominal aortic aneurysm. A ruptured aortic aneurysm can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding. In general, the larger the aneurysm, the greater the risk of rupture.
Signs and symptoms that your aortic aneurysm has burst include:
- Sudden, intense and persistent abdominal or back pain
- Pain that radiates to your back or legs
- Low blood pressure
- Fast pulse
- Loss of consciousness
- Shortness of breath
Another complication of aortic aneurysms is the risk of blood clots. Small blood clots can develop in the area of the aortic aneurysm. If a blood clot breaks loose from the inside wall of an aneurysm and blocks a blood vessel elsewhere in your body, it can cause pain or block the blood flow to the legs, toes, kidneys or abdominal organs.
March 22, 2013
- Aneurysm. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/arm/printall-index.html. Accessed Feb. 15, 2013.
- Aortic aneurysms. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. http://www.sts.org/patient-information/aneurysm-surgery/aortic-aneurysms. Accessed Feb. 15, 2013.
- Aortic aneurysms. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/cardiovascular_disorders/diseases_of_the_aorta_and_its_branches/aortic_aneurysms.html. Accessed Feb. 16, 2013.
- Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsaneu.htm. Accessed Feb. 16, 2013.
- Lewiss RE, et al. Vascular abdominal emergencies. Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America. 2011;29:253.
- Papadakis MA, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2013. 52nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed Feb. 16, 2013.
- Lederle FA, et al. Long-term comparison of endovascular and open repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm. New England Journal of Medicine. 2012;367:1988.
- U.S. News best hospitals 2012-2013: Top-Ranked Hospitals for Cardiology & Heart Surgery. http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings/cardiology-and-heart-surgery. Accessed Feb. 16, 2013.
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