What is it?
It is a blood-filled bulge in the wall of a blood vessel. It may involve the aortic arch, thoracic aorta, abdominal aorta, or a combination. It is most commonly caused by atherosclerosis (plaque build-up). The plaque deposits beneath the intima (the innermost layer of the arterial wall) and causes degeneration in the media (elastin/muscle) layer which leads to the loss of elasticity, weakening, and eventual dilation of the aorta.
There are 3 different types: Saccular, Fusiform, and Pseudo–aneurysm (False)
Saccular (True) – is pouchlike with a narrow neck connecting the bulge to one side of the arterial wall.
Fusiform (True) – is circumferential and relatively uniform in shape
Pseudo-aneurysm (False) – a disruption of all layers of the arterial wall, resulting in bleeding that is contained by surrounding structures.
Thoracic: Chest pain, dysphagia, hoarseness
Abdominal: Back pain, -ank pain, Blue toe syndrome, pulsatile mass, bruit(Usually asymptomatic until they expand or rupture)
Usually detected on routine physical exams, or when a pt is being examined for an unrelated problem
-Abd Radiographic exam, Ultrasound, CT, MRI, Electrocardiogram, Echocardiograph, Angiography
-Surgical Therapy-Endovascular Graft Procedure
Hx and Physical Exam
Monitor pt for signs of aneurysm rupture (pallor, weakness, tachycardia, hypotension) Assess peripheral pulses and renal and neurological status.
-Assess all body systems. Focus on Peripheral Vascular Assessment
-Continuous ECG monitoring
-Frequent electrolyte and arterial blood gas monitoring
-Increase Physical Activity, Maintain normal body weight