Fusiform aneurysm

Fusiform aneurysm: Description, Causes and Risk Factors: Fusiform aneurysmA fusiform aneurysm is a type of aneurysm characterized by a spindle-like shape when viewed in cross-section. It can be a cause for concern, depending on where in the body it is located, and in some cases emergency surgery may be required to correct it before it ruptures. Rupture of an aneurysm can have fatal consequences; for example, an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) can rupture and cause a patient to bleed to death within minutes. In the case of a fusiform aneurysm, the dilation in the blood vessel looks like a spindle. It is usually a complication of severe atherosclerosis, and is sometimes called an atherosclerotic aneurysm for this reason. Diagnosis is performed with the assistance of medical imaging studies, which may include the use of contrast to clearly highlight the vascular system so that abnormalities can be clearly seen on the study. Though an exact cause of fusiform aneurysm cannot be named, there are several conditions and lifestyle factors that have been associated with their development. It is clear that a family history of fusiform aneurysm substantially increases risk. Approximately 95 percent of aortic aneurysms are caused by atherosclerosis, the narrowing of an artery due to the buildup of fatty plaque.
  • The muscular middle layer of the artery may be congenitally weak and thus prone to a dissecting aneurysm.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) intensifies the force of blood on the walls of the arteries and contributes to the development of dissecting aneurysms.
  • Syphilis may cause a saccular or fusiform aneurysm near the heart.
  • The arterial wall may be weakened as a result of trauma or complication of other diseases, possibly leading to saccular or fusiform aneurysms.
Symptoms: Symptoms of a fusiform aneurysm vary. Often, the issue is not identified in the early stages, with problems emerging when the aneurysm is close to rupture and the patient is experiencing symptoms associated with low blood pressure such as dizziness, fainting, and pale skin. The aneurysm may also be identified during medical imaging or routine screening for another medical issue. Diagnosis: Diagnosis may include: Regular physical exams. It is important that you have regular physical exams to detect an aneurysm before it has a chance to rupture.
  • Chest X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans or ultrasound imaging is used to confirm the presence of an aneurysm. During a CT scan, you will lie on a table while an X-ray tube revolves around your body to direct X-rays through your chest at different angles and give the doctor a better picture of your blood vessels. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to examine your organs. One of our doctors places a small device called a transducer against your skin near the heart. As the doctor moves the transducer over a given area, it sends high-frequency sound waves to the heart. Once the information is recorded, it is electronically converted by a computer into detailed two-dimensional images and displayed on a monitor.
  • Angiography, which is an x-ray of the arteries, examines the heart's blood vessels and working capacity of the valves that control blood flow.
  • Ultrasound examinations are performed periodically to follow the expansion of an aneurysm over time.
Treatment: If a fusiform aneurysm is small and not in a dangerous location, a doctor may recommend taking a wait and see approach. The aneurysm will be monitored for signs of changes, and the patient may be advised to take some precautionary steps to avoid exacerbation of the aneurysm. If the aneurysm is large, surgical measures may be recommended to address it before it ruptures. Surgery may also be necessary if the aneurysm is in a delicate location where rupture could become an issue. Surgery for a fusiform aneurysm is performed by a cardiovascular surgeon who works on the patient while she or he is under general anesthesia. The risks of the procedure vary, depending on the location and size of the aneurysm. Prevention measures include a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. It is also important to take steps to prevent, detect and treat high blood pressure. If you have a family history of aortic aneurysms, you are at an increased risk and should be aware of the symptoms, as they are more likely to develop at a young age. (They are also more likely to rupture, so early treatment is essential.) If you are determined to be at high risk, you may want to consider periodic ultrasound screenings with your physician. NOTE: The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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