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Aneurysm

Balloon-like bulge in the wall of a blood vessel. A ruptured aneurysm can lead to bleeding. Aneurysms are a result of a weakened blood vessel wall.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wikipedia)

About Aneurysms

Arteries have thick walls to withstand normal blood pressure. However, certain medical problems, genetic conditions, and trauma can damage or injure artery walls. The force of blood pushing against the weakened or injured walls can cause an aneurysm.

An aneurysm can grow large and rupture (burst) or dissect. A rupture causes dangerous bleeding inside the body. A dissection is a split in one or more layers of the artery wall. The split causes bleeding into and along the layers of the artery wall.

Both rupture and dissection often are fatal.

Overview

Most aneurysms occur in the aorta, the main artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body. The aorta goes through the chest and abdomen.

An aneurysm that occurs in the chest portion of the aorta is called a thoracic (tho-RAS-ik) aortic aneurysm. An aneurysm that occurs in the abdominal portion of the aorta is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm....Read more about Aneurysms
NIH - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Terms to know

Abdomen
The area between the chest and the hips containing the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and spleen.
Abdominal Aorta
The descending aorta has two parts. The aorta begins to descend in the thoracic cavity, and is known as the thoracic aorta. After the aorta passes through the diaphragm, it is known as the abdominal aorta.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Enlargement and ballooning of the vessel that supplies arterial blood to the abdomen, pelvis and legs.
Aorta
The largest artery in the body. It carries oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to vessels that reach the rest of the body.
Aortic Aneurysm
Enlargement (dilation) of the aorta to greater than 1.5 times normal size.
Aortic Arch
The part of the aorta between the ascending and descending aorta.
Arteries
A blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to tissues and organs in the body.
Ascending Aorta
The ascending aorta begins in the left ventricle of the heart. The aorta starts as the ascending aorta then travels from the heart and makes a hairpin turn known as the aortic arch. The aorta then travels as the descending aorta.
Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body.
Blood Vessels
Tubes that carry blood to and from all parts of the body. The three main types of blood vessels are arteries, capillaries, and veins.
Brain
The part of the central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium).
Cerebral Aneurysm (Brain Aneurysm)
A weak or thin spot on a blood vessel in the brain that balloons out and fills with blood. An aneurysm can press on a nerve or surrounding tissue, and also leak or burst, which lets blood spill into surrounding tissues (called a hemorrhage).
Descending Aorta
The part of the aorta beginning at the aortic arch that runs down through the chest and abdomen. The descending aorta consists of two segments, the thoracic and the abdominal aorta.
Heart
The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.
Hypercholesterolemia (High Blood Cholesterol)
Abnormally high levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
A condition present when blood flows through the blood vessels with a force greater than normal. Also called high blood pressure. Hypertension can strain the heart, damage blood vessels, and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney problems, and death.
Kidney
One of a pair of organs in the abdomen. The kidneys remove waste and extra water from the blood (as urine) and help keep chemicals (such as sodium, potassium, and calcium) balanced in the body. The kidneys also make hormones that help control blood pressure and stimulate bone marrow to make red blood cells.
Localized
Limited to a particular area.
Rupture
A break or tear in any organ or soft tissue.
Thoracic Aorta
The aorta is an artery that conveys oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body. The thoracic aorta is part of the aorta. It becomes the abdominal aorta when it passes through the diaphragm.
Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
The "ballooning" of the upper aspect of the aorta, above the diaphragm.
Thoracic Cavity
The cavity enclosed by the ribs between the diaphragm and the neck, and containing the lungs and heart.
Thorax
Having to do with the chest.

Terms to know

Abdomen
The area between the chest and the hips containing the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gall...
Abdominal Aorta
The descending aorta has two parts. The aorta begins to descend in the thoracic cavity, and is known as the t...
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Enlargement and ballooning of the vessel that supplies arterial blood to the abdomen, pelvis and legs....
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