Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School



Your doctor will ask about your family history of heart disease. He or she will want to know about any sudden and, perhaps, unexplained, deaths in the family.

Your doctor will ask if you smoke. The doctor will check for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Your doctor may suspect an aortic aneurysm based on the physical examination. Your doctor may hear abnormal blood flow in your abdomen. Or, your doctor may see and feel a pulsating mass in your abdomen.

In most people an abdominal aortic aneurysm is found on an imaging study for an unrelated illness. Aortic aneurysms can be seen on many different imaging studies. These include x-rays and ultrasound.

Ultrasound is a very accurate test for abdominal aortic aneurysm. And it doesn't expose the patient to radiation.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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