For aneurysm is defined as a localized and permanent dilation of an artery due to the damage of the elastic and muscle fibers present in the wall. The vessel, thus deprived of its usual elasticity, under the pressure of the blood pressure, gradually widens.
The natural evolution of the aneurysm involves a progressive increase in caliber of the affected artery tract until the inevitable rupture of the vessel .
Aortic aneurysm is a very common disease: it affects approximately 6% of the population over the age of 60 and is more frequent in males. The most frequent aneurysms affect the abdominal aorta below the kidney, sometimes extending to the iliac arteries, that is, to the two main branches of division of the aorta directed to the lower limbs.
What are the risk factors of an aneurysm?
Hypertension , familiarity , high cholesterol levels , diabetes and smoking are the risk factors that contribute to the formation of the aneurysm.
The aneurysm of the abdominal aorta is almost always totally asymptomatic, that is, it shows no sign of its presence. Very often, in fact, he is diagnosed during examinations or visits performed for other reasons.
Sometimes there may be pain in the back and in the lumbar region, due to the compression exerted by the aneurysm on the vertebral bodies and nerve roots.
The symptoms of aneurysm rupture are very different : abdominal or back pain with anemia and significant drop in blood pressure values due to bleeding. The appearance of these serious ailments requires immediate hospitalization for treatment.