What is an aneurysm?

What is an aneurysm?

An aneurysm is an abnormal bulge or ballooning in the wall of a blood vessel. An aneurysm can burst (rupture), causing internal bleeding and often leading to death.

Is a ruptured aneurysm life threatening?

A ruptured aneurysm quickly becomes life-threatening and requires prompt medical treatment. Most brain aneurysms, however, don’t rupture, create health problems or cause symptoms. Such aneurysms are often detected during tests for other conditions.

What diseases can cause an aneurysm?

Atherosclerotic disease can also lead to an aneurysm. People with atherosclerotic disease have a form of plaque buildup in their arteries. Plaque is a hard substance that damages the arteries and prevents blood from flowing freely. High blood pressure may also cause an aneurysm.

Where do aortic aneurysms develop?

Aneurysms can develop in several parts of your body, including: The aorta — the major blood vessel carrying blood from your heart to vital organs ( aortic aneurysm) The section of aorta that passes through your chest ( thoracic aortic aneurysm)


What is NHLBI doing to prevent and treat aneurysms?

We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including aortic aneurysms. Learn about the current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.

What increases my risk for a cerebral aneurysm?

A family history of multiple berry aneurysms may increase your risk. Conditions that injure or weaken the walls of the blood vessel, including atherosclerosis, trauma or infection, may also cause cerebral aneurysms. Other risk factors include medical conditions such as polycystic kidney disease, narrowing of the aorta and endocarditis.

Can an aneurysm burst and kill you?

An aneurysm can burst (rupture), causing internal bleeding and often leading to death. Aneurysms usually don’t cause symptoms, so you might not know you have an aneurysm even if it’s large.