Symptoms of Abdominal Aortic Aneurism


Signs and Symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurism are usually quite covert until the aneurysm gets to more than 3.5cm.

Even at that stage, a majority of cases of abdominal aortic aneurysm are discovered accidentally.

Common symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurysm include:

Abdominal Pain

A dull aching upper central abdominal pain is the commonest symptom of abdominal aortic aneurism. It is usually a continuous nagging pain, not relieved or worsened by any particular thing like eating or movement. It may however be less noticeable at night. Some have mistakenly taking the pain as indigestion!

Back Pain

One thing that differentiates the abdominal pain of abdominal aortic aneurysm from most other pains is that the abdominal pain spreads to the central or lower back. The back pain could be mistaken for sciatica or other nerve root pain. This pain is usually not related to movement, and like the abdominal pain, it is usually continuous. Sciatica is worsened by movement.

Persisting pain either abdominal or back pain in someone with proven abdominal aortic aneurysm even less than 5.5cm is an indication to intervene and treat surgically or by the use of abdominal aortic graft without surgery.

A very dramatic sudden onset abdominal pain that spreads to the back with associated dizziness and collapse, cold and clammy feeling, seats and even vomiting can be the only and first symptom or group of symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurism. This occurs when there is a leak or rupture of the abdominal aneurysm.

Pulsating Abdominal Swelling

Fusiform or saccular abdominal aortic aneurysm could become very big in size and could be felt as an expansile pulsating swelling just above or around the umbilicus.

The presence of such pulsating swelling may first be signalled by the patient feeling a throbbing sensation in the abdomen.

Should there be leakage of blood from the aneurysm, the aneurysm may become covered or coated with clotted blood called haematoma, thus making the swelling less pulsatile or expansile.

The finding of a swelling in the central abdomen with associated abdominal and back pain is a very strong suggestion that one may be having an abdominal aortic aneurysm. It one of the most reliable symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurism.


As stated above, sudden collapse following a bout of severe abdominal pain is one of the symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurism. The patient is usually around 50 - 70 years of age, may be suffering with hypertension or diabetes, and may have had an heart attack before. This presentation could be confused with heart attack if the patient becomes cold and clammy, pale and may even describe the abdominal pain as chest pain if the point of rupture of the aorta is high up in the abdomen.

If you think you or your family member may be having one or all of the symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurism, please see the doctor urgently.

More topics on this Subject:

What Is Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?

Diagnosis of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Complications of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair

Complications of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair

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Symptoms of Abdominal Aortic Aneurism? Reduce your cholesterol levels without medications may halt progress of your aneurysm. See this e-book

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