What is An Aneurysm? What Are Its Types, Symptoms And Causes.


What Is An Aneurysm?

An aneurysm is the enlargement of an artery usually caused by weakness in the arterial wall a there are no symptoms but a ruptured aneurysm can lead to fatal complications. It refers to a weakening of an artery wall that creates a bulge of the artery. Most aneurysms do not show symptoms and are not even dangerous but at their most severe stage, some can rupture which leads to life-threatening internally bleeding.

Although an aneurysm can occur in any part of the body, it is most common in the brain, aorta, spleen as well as in legs. A large aneurysm can also affect your circulation resulting in clots of blood.

Are There Different Types Of Aneurysms?

An aneurysm may occur anywhere in your body but these are the most common location of aneurysms. They include:

Aortic aneurysm

As the name suggests, this type of aneurysm happens in your aorta. It can be linked with the hardening of the arteries which is also known as atherosclerosis. It may be an inherited condition or a complication of smoking or also may be due to high blood pressure. The most common aneurysm of the aorta is the abdominal aortic aneurysm which occurs in the part of the aorta that runs through the abdomen. Less common, a thoracic aortic aneurysm can affect the part of the aorta that runs through the chest.

Cerebral aneurysms

It is also known as a berry aneurysm due to its appearance. The arteries that supply the brain with blood are known as intracranial aneurysms. A ruptured aneurysm of the brain can be fatal within 24 hours which is the most common cause of a type of stroke known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Peripheral aneurysm

An aneurysm may also occur in a peripheral artery. its types are:

  • Popliteal aneurysm– This happens behind the knee which is the most common peripheral aneurysm.
  • Splenic artery aneurysm– This type of aneurysm mostly occur near the spleen.
  • Mesenteric artery aneurysm– This aneurysm affects the artery that transports blood to the intestine.
  • Femoral artery aneurysm– It mostly occurs in the groin.
  • Carotid artery aneurysm– It mostly occurs in the neck.
  • Visceral aneurysm– this is a bulge of the arteries which supply blood to the kidneys.


An aneurysm can happen in any area of the body a the blood pressure can easily distend a weakened arterial wall. Research is necessary to confirm why an artery wall weakens to cause an aneurysm. Some of the aneurysms less commonly present from birth as an arterial defect.

Aortic dissection

It is one of the identifiable causes of aortic aneurysms. The arterial wall has three layers where the blood can burst through a tear in the weakened wall of the artery by splitting those layers. It fills the cavity that surrounds the artery. if the tear occurs on the innermost layer of the arterial wall then the blood channels into and weakens the wall that increases the risk of rupture.

People with aortic dissection often describe abrupt chest pain which can travel as the dissection progresses along the aorta. As an example radiate to the back.

It leads to compression which prevents blood from returning to the heart also known as pericardial tamponade.

Atherosclerotic Disease

It can also lead to an aneurysm as people with this disease have a form of plaque buildup in their arteries. A plaque is a hard substance that damages the arteries and prevents the blood from flowing.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure also causes an aneurysm. The force of your blood as it travels through your blood vessels is measured by how much pressure it places on your wall of the artery. If the pressure increases above the normal rate then it may enlarge the blood vessels.

Blood pressure for the adult is normal at or below 120/80 mm Hg. Significantly high pressure can increase the risk for heart, blood vessels, and also the problem of circulation. Higher than normal blood pressure does not put you at high risk for an aneurysm.

What Symptoms Should I look For?

An aneurysm can develop over many years and often does not have any symptoms. If an aneurysm expands quickly then the symptoms may be based on the location and may also develop suddenly depending on the site of the aneurysm whereas the symptoms may include;

  • Headache
  • Pain in abdomen or back
  • Pulsating abdominal mass
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Hoarseness
  • Vision changes
  • Dysphagia
  • Upper back pain
  • Sense of impending doom
  • Shock
  • High pitch breathing sound.