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Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Other Names for this Disease
  • Aneurysm, abdominal aortic
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Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are aneurysms that occur in the part of the aorta that passes through the abdomen. They may occur at any age, but are most common in men between 50 and 80 years of age. Many people with an AAA have no symptoms, but some people have a pulsing sensation in the abdomen and/or pain in the back.[1] If the aneurysm ruptures, it may cause deep, severe pain; nausea; vomiting; fast heart rate; clammy skin; and/or shock.[1][2] About 20% of AAAs eventually rupture and are often fatal.[1] The condition has multiple genetic and environmental risk factors, and may sometimes occur as part of an inherited syndrome. When more than one family member is affected, it may be considered "familial abdominal aortic aneurysm."[3] Treatment depends on the size of the aneurysm and may include blood pressure medications, or surgery to repair the aneurysm.[1]
Last updated: 2/25/2014


  1. John W. Hallett. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. Merck Manuals. January, 2008; Accessed 2/25/2014.
  2. Weinrauch LA. Abdominal aortic aneurysm. MedlinePlus. August 28, 2008; Accessed 1/16/2009.
  3. Ada Hamosh. AORTIC ANEURYSM, FAMILIAL ABDOMINAL, 1; AAA1. OMIM. December 20, 2011; Accessed 2/25/2014.
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Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition. Click on the link to view the information.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Abdominal aortic aneurysm. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
  • UpToDate has an article on Abdominal aortic aneurysm. Click on UpToDate to view the page.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles

  • The American Family Physician provides an online journal article about abdominal aortic aneurysm. Click on the link above to access this article.