Symptoms of an aortic aneurysm may come and go, or they may be constant, explains WebMD. Symptoms can include chest, stomach or back pain. Many aortic aneurysms cause no symptoms at all and are only found during tests or exams done for other reasons.
An aortic aneurysm is a bulge in a section of the body’s main artery, the aorta, notes WebMD. The aorta carries blood from the heart to the other parts of the body. The aneurysm, the bulging part of the aorta, is susceptible to bursting. If this happens, the result is serious bleeding that can be fatal.
Normally, the aortic wall is elastic, stretching and shrinking as needed to accommodate blood flow, states WebMD. However, certain medical problems, such as high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, can weaken the aortic walls. Combined with the normal wear and tear that occurs with age, these problems can cause a weak spot in the wall of the artery that bulges outward.
Doctors may find aneurysms by chance or during specific screening tests for aneurysms, says WebMD. Because symptoms may come and go or may not exist at all, if a patient is at a higher risk for aneurysm, a screening test can be helpful in discovering an aneurysm that can then be treated before it causes problems.