Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Aortic aneurysm
An aortic aneurysm (say "a-OR-tik AN-yuh-rih-zum") is a bulge in part of the aorta, your main artery. If the bulge gets large enough, it can rupture. If it does, your life is in danger.
Aortic aneurysms are usually caused by hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). But other causes include genetic conditions, infections, and injury.
Aneurysms need to be repaired if they are large or fast-growing or if they cause symptoms. Smaller ones are usually just checked regularly to see how fast they are growing.
Current as of: July 13, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Jeffrey J. Gilbertson MD - Vascular Surgery
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.