vascular

CT reconstruction image of an abdominal aortic aneurysm

Abdominal aortic aneurysm is a localized dilatation (ballooning) of the abdominal aorta exceeding the normal diameter by more than 50 percent, and is the most common form of aortic aneurysm. Approximately 90 percent of abdominal aortic aneurysms occur infrarenally (below the kidneys), but they can also occur pararenally (at the level of the kidneys) or suprarenally (above the kidneys). Such aneurysms can extend to include one or both of the iliac arteries in the pelvis. The major complication of abdominal aortic aneurysms is rupture, which is life-threatening, as large amounts of blood spill into the abdominal cavity, and can lead to death within minutes.