Aneurysm, aortic
An aneurysm is a localized widening (dilatation) of an artery, vein, or the heart. At the area of an aneurysm, there is typically a bulge and the wall is weakened and may rupture. The word “aneurysm” comes from the Greek “aneurysma” meaning “a widening.” An aortic aneurysm of the largest artery in the body, the aorta, involving that vessel in its course above the diaphragm (thoracic aortic aneurysm) or, more commonly, below the diaphragm (abdominal aortic aneurysm). Because of the volume of blood flowing under relatively high pressure within the aorta, a ruptured aneurysm of the aorta is a catastrophe.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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