Aortic Aneurysm/Dissection Diagnosis
Diagnosis of an aortic aneurysm before symptoms occur is ideal, but unfortunately, diagnosis often takes place only when symptoms arise. Because aneurysms may cause no symptoms until the aneurysm tears, many go undetected until they burst.
Of those aneurysms that are found before patients develop serious symptoms, most are detected incidentally in the process of conducting evaluations for other conditions. Most commonly, a routine physical exam may allow for the detection of a heart murmur. This finding will often prompt your doctor to perform an echocardiogram. This test will allow for accurate imaging of the aortic valve and the first portion of the aorta. Aneurysms may also be seen on a routine X-ray or a CT scan ordered for an unrelated purpose. Sometimes people may feel pain in the chest or back, so a chest x-ray or CT scan is performed. Alternatively, a person may have a scan following an accident or injury.