Aortic aneurysm of the heart: what is it?
Cardiovascular diseases are in the leading position in the list of causes of death. In addition to the usual «heart attack» and «stroke» occurs and the term «aneurysm». What it is, and how dangerous is the disease?
The nature and causes of
Aorta – the largest artery in the human body. It is a dense elastic vessel with a diameter of about 2.5 cm, carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to all organs of the body. The aorta, externally, is a smooth tube that lies in the chest cavity, across the diaphragm through the hole and continues in the abdominal cavity.
In the course of moving away from her large branches to the head, the hands, the digestive system and the kidneys. At the level of the lumbar aorta divides into the right and left iliac arteries are large trunks that feed the pelvic organs and lower limbs. The wall of the aorta arranged in a special way that allows it to withstand the pressure of blood ejected from the heart under high pressure. Aortic aneurysm of the heart is a local vessel expansion, increase in diameter up to 3 cm or more. The shape distinguish the fusiform and saccular aneurysms. What is the reason of their appearance?
- The change in the quality of the vascular wall «ageing» of connective tissue, with destruction of collagen and elastin.
- Hypertension: higher blood pressure, the greater the shock the blood flow is exposed to the vascular wall.
- Genetic predisposition – hereditary features of the structure of connective tissue, including Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos.
- Congenital malformation of the vessel.
- Systemic connective tissue diseases – systemic lupus erythematosus, periarteritis nodosa, giant cell arteritis, etc.
- Infectious lesions of the aorta in the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream. Most important for Salmonella, Streptococcus and Klebsiella. Such aneurysms are prone to complications. In a special way affects the aorta Treponema pallidum – the causative agent of syphilis. Before the advent of antibiotics it running syphilis was the most common cause of aneurysms in the General population.
- Blunt trauma of the abdomen and thoracic cavity (e.g., upon impact of the driver against the steering wheel in an accident).
Dangerous than the disease?
The mere existence of an aneurysm in 50% of cases does not cause the patient any discomfort and has no clinical symptoms. However, complications can cause a sudden and almost inevitable death.
Hypertension is no longer a disease?
Doctors are shocked by the statement, the chief cardiac surgeon in the country Leo Beaucaire.
- The rupture of an aneurysm of the aorta is accompanied by massive internal bleeding – the blood of the largest pressure vessel flows into the body cavity. The condition is accompanied by a sharp drop in blood pressure, shock, severe pain syndrome. The ability of surgeons to save a patient, after emergency surgery, is very limited, as from massive bleeding person often dies in a matter of minutes.
- Stratification – the formation of «pockets» in the wall of the vessel, the additional cavity, which gradually widens blood flow and vessel thins and collapses.
- The formation of a fistula – communication between aneurysm and an adjacent organ, such as the duodenum. There is the constant drip of blood from the aorta into adjacent organs or the space between them.
- Thrombosis. The combination of the aneurysm with atherosclerosis worsens the disease: the arterial wall changes, «attracting» to platelets. It turns out that the whole bag of the aneurysm filled with thrombi of different sizes. They can break off, carried away with the flow of blood in the small arteries and totally block them.
The symptoms of the disease and the fight against it
In half of the cases, the aneurysm does not manifest itself does not cause the person discomfort. It is often an accidental finding during examination for other diseases. Some patients may be complaints:
- Pain syndrome corresponding to the location of the extension. With the defeat of the thoracic – chest pain with spreading to the left shoulder and abdominal – a abdominal pain that radiates to the spine.
- Syndromes of compression of the neighboring organs, cough and swallowing disorders in the vicinity of the aneurysm with the trachea and esophagus, lack of urine in the clamping aneurysmal pouch of the ureter, the signs of disturbance of the nearby veins.
- The painful feeling of pulsation in the abdomen.
The doctor will suspect the diagnosis, propylparaben (defining touch) pulsating mass in the abdomen and hearing over it the specific noise using the stethoscope. Confirmed fears with the help of modern research methods.
- To see the actual aneurysm and determine its size will help ultrasound examination of abdomen, chest x-ray, computed tomography with contrast enhancement, contrast angiography or magnetic resonance imaging.
- In some diseases of the connective tissue would require blood analysis (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, white blood cells), determination of immune status.
- To confirm the presence of bacteria in the blood will help seeding with the definition of flora and sensitivity to antibiotics.
It is impossible to say what treatment the patient shown. Doctor will be based on several factors:
- size and growth rate of the aneurysm;
- the presence of symptoms;
- the General condition of the patient the ability to move extensive surgery for prosthetic vessel;
- the availability of endovascular treatment techniques.
Thus, an aneurysm of the aorta – a life-threatening condition. It requires thorough diagnosis and surveillance experts, decide on surgical treatment from a vascular surgeon.