|December 19, 2012||Posted by admin under Aneurysm|
By definition, a fusiform aneurysm is an elongated, tubular, or spindle-shaped swelling of an artery.
An aneurysm can happen in the aorta, which is our largest artery that carries blood from the heart down to the chest cavity and abdominals, where it divides; supplying blood to each leg. Most aortic aneurysms develop in the abdomen; with the remainder occurring in the chest.
As blood pumps through the weakened arterial wall, it is often stretched. When the ballooning effect is symmetrical in form, it is considered a fusiform aneurysm. Generally, if the bulging aorta is over 1.5 times of its normal size, it is called an aneurysm.
Signs of Fusiform Aneurysm
Aortic aneurysms are grouped by how they are formed, shape, and location. In general, with a fusiform aneurysm, the weakness is along an extended portion of the aorta and involves the entire distance. The weakened section appears as a bulge that is symmetric in shape.
Unfortunately, aortic aneurysms usually have no symptoms. However, symptoms may occur due to the fusiform aneurysm pressing on nearby organs, or if the bulge weakens the wall and leads to tissue separation. Symptoms of dissection include stroke, excruciating pain in the chest, abdomen, or back, and/or numb or cold lower extremities.
The most common types found are degenerative aneurysms. These result as a breakdown of the muscular layer and connective tissue. The causes include genetic factors, high blood pressure, and cigarette smoking. Most abdominal aortic aneurysms are caused by atherosclerosis.
Aortic aneurysms are most often caused by damage to the artery wall due to atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is caused by high blood pressure and/or a buildup of cholesterol and other fatty deposits in the arteries.
Other causes of a saccular or fusiform aneurysm include:
* Congenital defect or hereditary
* Weakening of the artery wall from high blood pressure or smoking
* Dissection or tearing of the artery wall from trauma
Dissecting aneurysms happen when a tear begins in the aorta wall, causing its three layers to separate. This separation causes the wall to weaken, and the aorta to enlarge. Dissections can occur all along the aorta and treatment depends upon the location. Often, those involving the upward aorta region are treated with emergency surgery while those involving the lower aorta are treated with medication. Although dissections are rare, they can be deadly if left untreated.
If you have an aneurysm, your doctor has several ways to describe it. One might be by the shape of the aneurysm, another by the location and a third descriptive term comes from the way you developed the aneurysm.
An aneurysm is nothing more than a bulge or weakness in the walls of the artery. The artery has three walls or layers. The inner surface is smooth, the middle layer of the artery has an elastic quality and the outer surface of the artery is protective and tough. True aneurysms have all three of the layers. Fusiform aneurysms tend to be true aneurysms.
Most aneurysms are diagnosed during a routine chest X-ray, MRI, or CT scan being performed for a different medical condition. Abdominal aortic aneurysms located along the portion of the aorta that passes through the abdomen are far more common than those found in the chest, comprising up to 75 percent of the ones identified. Although, they can strike at any age or gender, the condition is diagnosed more frequently in men ages 40 to 70.
The identification of an abdominal aortic aneurysm may be determined by a doctor during a physical exam, or after a patient notices a mass in their abdomen. An abnormal chest X-ray is often the first clue that an aortic aneurysm could be present. Other diagnostic tests for a saccular or fusiform aneurysm include:
* CT scan
You’ll find that there are several types of treatment but the most universal is surgery to patch or repair the artery. An implantation device is another method of treatment. It causes the body to produce a blood clot, which seals and protects the area from the pressure of the flow of blood. This reduces the potential for rupture.
Depending on its size, a saccular or fusiform aneurysm is serious because it may rupture, causing life-endangering internal bleeding. As an aneurysm gets bigger, the risk of rupture increases. The danger of an aneurysm rupturing also depends on its location. Every year, nearly 15,000 people in the United States die of a ruptured aneurysm. If detected early, aortic aneurysms can typically be repaired with surgery.
While not all aneurysms are preventable because of genetics or birth defects, you can help prevent an aneurysm. If you have high blood pressure take steps to get it under control. Be aware of your cholesterol levels and monitor any plaque buildup in the artery walls. If you smoke, stop smoking.