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Heart Disease Health Center

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Understanding Aneurysm: Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of an Aneurysm?

Detecting an aneurysm on your own is difficult since symptoms are rare. But certain people are at higher risk of developing aneurysms.

Your best strategy is to know if you are at risk, to be familiar with the symptoms of an aneurysm, and to take preventive steps. Although most aneurysms have no symptoms, in some cases the following symptoms may occur:

Understanding Aneurysm

Find out more about aneurysm:



Diagnosis and Treatment


  • Sudden and severe pain, often described as "ripping or tearing," or an unusual pulsing sensation, pain, or a lump anywhere in your body where blood vessels are located.
  • Pain in the abdomen or lower back extending into the groin and legs may indicate an abdominal aneurysm, which can sometimes be seen or felt as a throbbing lump and may be accompanied by weight loss or loss of appetite.
  • A pain in the chest, hoarseness, persistent coughing, and difficulty swallowing may indicate a thoracic aneurysm.
  • A throbbing sensation or lump directly behind the knee may indicate a popliteal aneurysm. The knee is a common site for this type of aneurysm, especially in smokers.
  • A severe headache, like none you've ever had before, may indicate a dissecting or rupturing aneurysm in the head. Dissecting aneurysms, most commonly characterized by severe pain, can also occur elsewhere in the body and are always an emergency situation.

Call Your Doctor About an Aneurysm if:

You suspect you have an aneurysm. Many aneurysms are serious and require a medical evaluation. An aneurysm that ruptures is potentially life-threatening.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on February 28, 2015

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