Aneurysm – a time bomb
Aneurysm is called a pathological protrusion or expansion of the wall of a blood vessel – an artery or vein – due to its weakening or thinning. The same term refers to a change in the chamber of the heart. There are aneurysms of the brain, aorta, heart, peripheral vessels.
The structure of the aneurysm can be:
saccular – is a bag filled with blood;
spindle-shaped (cylindrical) – uniformly widened section of the vessel.
Aneurysm can stratify – between the layers of the wall blood clots accumulate – thrombotic masses. An exfoliating aneurysm more often occurs on the aorta.
The danger of the aneurysm is that at any time it can rupture and then blood from the vessel will enter a nearby cavity. Moreover, no doctor will tell you when this can happen: perhaps tomorrow, or in a month, or in a year, or never at all.
In addition, blood clots often form on the aneurysm, which, coming off, can cause a stroke, myocardial infarction, pulmonary thromboembolism.
Aneurysm may be due to congenital collagen deficiency, vascular atherosclerosis. Predisposing factors are also high blood pressure, injuries.
The aorta is the main and largest artery of the body. She leaves the heart up and, curving in an arc, goes down into the abdominal cavity. Most often, aneurysms form precisely on the aorta – on its thoracic or abdominal part.
At first, the aneurysm develops asymptomatically, then, as it grows, it begins to manifest itself:
thoracic aorta – aching pain and heaviness behind the sternum, especially when raising arms, coughing and shortness of breath, dizziness and increased palpitations;
abdominal aorta – abdominal pain, digestive disorders, urination disorders, leg pain, limp.
Particularly dangerous stratified aneurysm, which can lead to rupture of the aorta with the expiration of blood into the chest or abdominal cavity. Symptoms of this condition: sharp pain in the abdomen or behind the sternum, loss of consciousness. Without treatment, a fatal outcome is imminent, and even with timely assistance, the risk of patient death is very high.
Aneurysms of the vessels of the brain, or, as they are also called, intracranial aneurysms, most often saccular or spindle-shaped. Stratification of intracranial aneurysm is rare.
Intracranial aneurysms have not been felt for a long time. They begin to bother a person when they reach significant sizes and squeeze nearby tissues, as well as when they are located in important parts of the brain. Then symptoms also appear. But the insidiousness of the aneurysm is that its signs, firstly, are very diverse, secondly, they are individual and, thirdly, can be taken for the manifestation of other diseases.
These are the symptoms:
headaches of different intensity, nature and localization – are determined by the location of the aneurysm;
insomnia or drowsiness;
dizziness, nausea, vomiting, not dependent on food;
hearing, vision disorders, impaired sensitivity, coordination of movements, etc.
That is why it is not easy to make a correct diagnosis for cerebral aneurysm.
The main threat of intracranial aneurysm is its rupture and hemorrhage in the brain. The likelihood of death with this complication is quite high.
It is a section of the wall of the heart muscle that bulges out in the form of a pouch.
An aneurysm is manifested in the same way as heart failure: weakness and shortness of breath. Over time, these signs increase. However, the greatest danger threatening life is its rupture.
How to reduce the risk of complications
Identifying an aneurysm, especially if it is small, is not easy enough, as symptoms occur when it reaches a significant size. And then the symptoms are nonspecific and can be attributed to other pathologies.
The diagnosis of aneurysm is based on patient examination data:
with aortic aneurysm – this is an ultrasound of the organs of the chest or abdominal cavity, CT, MRI, an aortic x-ray with a contrast agent (aortography);
with aneurysm of the vessels of the brain – angiography;
with aneurysm of the heart – ECG, ultrasound of the heart (echocardiography).
As for treatment, with aneurysm of the brain, the most effective operation will be to turn off the pathological formation from the bloodstream. But neurosurgical surgery is a big risk, the likelihood of complications and the possibility of death. Therefore, the question of surgery is raised when the size of the aneurysm exceeds 10 mm.
Small aortic aneurysm involves controlling blood pressure, reducing the manifestations of atherosclerosis. If the size of the aneurysm is more than 4 cm or symptoms increase, it is recommended to remove it by replacing the affected area of the vessel with a prosthesis.
With aneurysm of the heart, an effective method of treatment is also surgical. But this operation is difficult, and it is performed if heart failure increases very quickly, blood clots form, and the heart rhythm is seriously disturbed. The operation consists in excising a pathological formation, removing blood clots (if any)