What is an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm?
An aortic aneurysm is a ballooning, due to a loss of wall integrity, of the aorta. The aorta is the largest artery in the human body and is responsible for bringing blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The aorta begins at the heart (thoracic aorta), goes down through the abdomen (abdominal aorta), and then splits into the iliac arteries. An aneurysm is characterized by an increase in diameter by more than 50% and typically occurs in the abdominal section of the aorta due to a decrease of collagen in this area. Other than brain aneurysms this is the most prevalent location for aneurysms in the human body.