The aorta is the main artery of the circulatory system. Its function is to carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. It is divided into two main sections; the thoracic aorta, which runs down the center of the chest, and the abdominal aorta, which is the lower section located in the abdomen.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the abdominal aorta as a result of weakening of the artery wall. Aortic aneurysms may occur due to a build-up of plaque or due to chronic high blood pressure.
Most people with an aneurysm don’t have any symptoms, so early detection is difficult. However, if left untreated, an aneurysm can grow larger and larger until it bursts, causing serious internal bleeding.