A person may or may not experience symptoms of an aortic aneurysm, but common indications include a sudden tearing pain in the chest, abdomen or back, according to WebMD. Shortness of breath, coughing, difficulty swallowing and hoarseness are caused by thoracic aneurysms. Individuals may lose consciousness and experience stroke, heart attack or shock if an aneurysm ruptures.
An aneurysm is a bulge that forms on an artery wall that causes pressure on the artery and forces it to push outward, WebMD states. It is most commonly found in the aorta but can form in any blood vessel. Small aneurysms don't carry much risk and don't require treatment, but they are monitored for growth. If an aneurysm grows, it may create pressure on surrounding organs. The larger an aneurysm grows, the higher the risk of it rupturing.
Other risks posed by an aneurysm include the potential for a blood clot to form and dislodge, which can lead to a stroke, notes WebMD. Plaque forming in the area of the aneurysm growth further weakens the artery wall which can become fragile and burst. Thoracic aneurysms may cause a heart murmur, and abdominal aneurysms create the sensation of a pulsating mass in the stomach.
Aortic aneurysms may be removed surgically if they are large enough and causing associated symptoms, according to WebMD. If an aneurysm is located too close to the valve, a valve replacement may be necessary.