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A bleeding aneurysm is a surgical emergency and detailed investigations are inappropriate. A priority in such a case should be to cross-match some blood.

In the non-acute case then ultrasound or CT scan can be used to ascertain the size of the aneurysm. Conservative management of some aneurysms involves periodic ultrasound scanning to assess the size of an asymptomatic aneurysm.

Arteriography may be necessary to show the relationship between an aortic aneurysm and the renal arteries. In 95% of cases an aortic aneurysm occurs below the renal arteries.

Arteriography is also indicated in patients with an aneurysm and lower limb ischaemia.

Last reviewed 01/2018