Aortic Aneurysm - Topic Overview
How is an aortic aneurysm diagnosed? continued...
Experts recommend screening tests for abdominal aneurysms for men who
- Ages 65 to 75 and have ever smoked.1
- At least 60 years old and have a first-degree relative (for
example, father or brother) who has had an aneurysm.2
These men are more likely to have an aneurysm than are
women or nonsmoking men.
Experts recommend screening tests for a thoracic aneurysm for anyone who has a close relative who has had a thoracic aortic aneurysm.3
If your doctor thinks you have an
aneurysm, you may have tests such as an
CT scan, or an
MRI to find out where it is and how big it is.
How is it treated?
Treatment of an aortic aneurysm
is based on how big it is and how fast it is growing. If you have a large or
fast-growing aneurysm, you need surgery to fix it. A doctor will
repair the damaged part of the blood vessel during open surgery or a minimally invasive procedure.
Small aneurysms rarely rupture and
are usually treated with high blood pressure medicine, such as
beta-blockers. This medicine helps to lower blood
pressure and stress on the aortic wall. If you don't have a repair surgery or procedure, you will
ultrasound tests to see if the aneurysm is getting
Even if your aneurysm does not grow or rupture, you may
be at risk for heart problems. Your doctor may suggest that you exercise more,
eat a heart-healthy diet, and stop smoking. He or she may also prescribe
medicines to help lower high cholesterol.