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:
The causes of an aortic aneurysm are often unknown, but can include:
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:
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:
Many aneurysms develop without causing symptoms. Providers often discover these aneurysms during a routine checkup or screening.
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.
If five centimeters or larger in diameter, or; if symptomatic, or; for indefinite period from date of hospital admission for surgical correction (including any type of graft insertion)
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