An aortic aneurysm is a bulging section in the wall of the
aorta—the large blood vessel delivering blood from the heart to the body—that
has become stretched-out and thin. Where the wall of the blood vessel bulges
out, it becomes weaker and may burst or rupture, causing bleeding.
Most aortic aneurysms are caused by a combination of hardening of
the arteries (atherosclerosis), genetics, and aging. But a small number
are caused by inflammation or infection. These are called inflammatory aneurysms.
inflammatory aneurysm can cause complications, such as
fever, weight loss, and symptoms of a chronic disease. A massive inflammatory
response may affect body parts close to the aneurysm, including part of the small intestine, the
ureter, or the veins to the kidney. Any of these
structures can become obstructed by the inflammation.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Jeffrey J. Gilbertson, MD - Vascular Surgery