Aortic aneurysm:

Aortic aneurysm: 

An aneurysm is a bulge or "ballooning" in the wall of an artery. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to other parts of the body. If an aneurysm grows large, it can burst and cause dangerous bleeding or even death.

Most aneurysms are in the aorta, the main artery that runs from the heart through the chest and abdomen.

There are two types of aortic aneurysm:

  • Thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA) - these occur in the part of the aorta running through the chest
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) - these occur in the part of the aorta running through the abdomen


The causes of an aortic aneurysm are often unknown, but can include:

  • Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries).
  • Inflammation of the arteries.
  • Inherited conditions, especially those that affect connective tissue (such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome).
  • Injury to an aorta.
  • Infections, such as syphilis.


Thoracic aortic aneurysm. Genes play a role in your chances of having an aortic aneurysm in your chest. Conditions that people can be born with that can affect the aorta include a bicuspid aortic valve, Marfan syndrome, and Loeys-Dietz syndrome.

You might not know you have a thoracic aortic aneurysm because symptoms often don’t show up until the aneurysm becomes large, or bursts. But as it grows, you may notice some signs, including:

  • Chest or back pain
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness

Abdominal aortic aneurysm: This can happen in the portion of your aorta that passes through your abdomen. There are usually no telltale signs to warn you that something is wrong. Still, you might have:

  • Back pain
  • A deep pain on the side of your abdomen
  • A throbbing sensation near your navel


Many aneurysms develop without causing symptoms. Providers often discover these aneurysms during a routine checkup or screening.

  • Abdominal Ultrasound 
  • Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm 
  • Tests for Lung Disease
  • CT scan
  • CT or MRI angiography
  • Ultrasound

Note: A rating of 100 percent shall be assigned as of the date of admission for surgical correction. Six months following discharge, the appropriate disability rating shall be determined by mandatory VA examination. Any change in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of §3.105(e) of this chapter.

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