Most people with aortic aneurysms, especially ones in the chest area (Reference thoracic aortic aneurysms Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window), do not have symptoms. But symptoms may begin to occur if the aneurysm gets bigger and puts pressure on surrounding organs.
If an aortic aneurysm bursts, or ruptures, there is sudden, severe pain, an extreme drop in blood pressure, and signs of Reference shock Opens New Window. Without immediate medical treatment, death occurs.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm
The most common symptoms of Reference abdominal aortic aneurysm Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window include general abdominal (belly) pain or discomfort, which may come and go or be constant. Other symptoms include:
- Pain in the chest, abdomen, lower back, or flank (over the kidneys), possibly spreading to the groin, buttocks, or legs. The pain may be deep, aching, gnawing, and/or throbbing, and may last for hours or days. It is generally not affected by movement, although certain positions may be more comfortable than others.
- A pulsating sensation in the abdomen.
- A "cold foot" or a black or blue painful toe, which can happen if an abdominal aortic aneurysm produces a blood clot that breaks off and blocks blood flow to the legs or feet.
- Fever or weight loss, if it is an Reference inflammatory aortic aneurysm Opens New Window.
Thoracic aortic aneurysm
- Chest pain, generally described as deep and aching or throbbing. This is the most frequent symptom.
- Back pain.
- A cough or shortness of breath if the aneurysm is in the area of the lungs.
- Difficulty or pain while swallowing.
The symptoms of aortic aneurysm are similar to the symptoms of other problems that cause chest or belly pain such as Reference coronary artery disease Opens New Window, Reference gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) Opens New Window, and Reference peptic ulcer disease Opens New Window.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference February 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery