Diagnosing Aortic Aneurysms

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(608) 263-8915
(608) 263-0439
Aortic aneurysms are diagnosed by physical examination and tests that help the doctor see the type, size and location of the aneurysm. These tests may include:
  • Chest X-rays
  • Three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Ultrasound
  • Aortic angiography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans

Using these tests, doctors can determine the best course of treatment. Regular examination and monitoring may be recommended for small aneurysms without any symptoms.


If the aneurysm is large (greater than five centimeters) or is expanding more than 0.8 centimeters per year, you may require surgery. Other physical changes in the aortic wall - such as swelling, inflammation or leaking - may also be indicators of surgery. Most aneurysms, when detected early, can be repaired with planned surgery.