Burst aorta causes catastrophic internal bleeding and death.
The aorta — is the body’s main blood vessel that supplies blood to the body. It runs from the heart down through the chest and abdomen. Becoming older, the wall of the aorta can become weak. Being weak it can quickly expand and develop into what is called an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA).
Large aneurysms are rare but can become very weak and burst, and that causes catastrophic internal bleeding and often death. Because the aorta is the body’s leading supplier of blood, a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threading bleeding.
Abdominal aortic aneurysms often grow slowly and usually without symptoms, making them difficult to detect. Some aneurysms will never rupture. Many start small and stay small, although many expand over time.
Others expand quickly. Predicting how fast an abdominal aortic aneurysm may enlarge is difficult.
As an abdominal aortic aneurysm enlarges, some people may notice:
- A pulsating feeling near the navel
- Deep, constant pains in the abdomen or on the side of the abdomen.
- Back pain.
Any of these signs and symptoms, such as sudden severe back or abdominal pain, get immediate emergency help.
Most aortic aneurysms occur in the part of the aorta that’s in the abdomen. Although the exact cause of abdominal aortic aneurysms is unknown, many factors may play a role, including:
Tobacco use: Cigarette smoking and other forms of tobacco use appear to increase the risk of aortic aneurysms. Smoking can be damaging to the aorta and weaken the aorta’s walls.
Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis): Atherosclerosis occurs when fat and other substances build up on the lining of a blood vessel. This condition may increase the risk of an aneurysm.
High blood pressure: High blood pressure can increase the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms as it can damage and weaken the aorta’s walls.
Blood vessel diseases in the aorta: Abdominal aortic aneurysms are diseases that cause blood vessels to become inflamed.
Infection in the aorta: Infections, such as a bacterial or fungal infection, may rarely cause abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Trauma: Trauma, such as being in a car accident, can cause abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Heredity: In some cases, abdominal aortic aneurysms could be hereditary.
Aneurysms can develop anywhere along the aorta, but when they occur in the upper part of the aorta, in the chest, they are called thoracic aortic aneurysms. More commonly, aneurysms form in the lower part of the aorta and are called abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Signs and symptoms
An aortic aneurysm has ruptured:
- Sudden, intense and persistent abdominal or back pain, which can be described as a tearing sensation.
- Pain that radiates to the back or legs.
- Low blood pressure.
- Fast pulse.
Another complication of aortic aneurysms is the risk of blood clots. Small blood clots can develop in the area of an aortic aneurysm. If a blood clot breaks loose from the inside wall of an aneurysm and blocks a blood vessel elsewhere in the body, it can cause pain or block the blood flow to the legs, toes, kidneys or abdominal organs.
Acknowledgments & References
Mayo Clinic’s campus in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona-