- 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.
- 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.
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