Contained Rupture of Aortic Aneurysm

How to Cite This Chapter: Szalay D, Frołow M, Leśniak W. Contained Rupture of Aortic Aneurysm. McMaster Textbook of Internal Medicine. Kraków: Medycyna Praktyczna. Accessed January 22, 2021.
Last Updated: January 15, 2019
Last Reviewed: September 11, 2019
Chapter Information

Definition, Etiology, PathogenesisTop

Contained rupture of aortic aneurysm refers to disruption of the aortic wall (sometimes also involving formation of a pseudoaneurysm) associated with the development of perivascular hematoma that is sealed off by periaortic structures: the pleura, pericardium, retroperitoneal space, or adjacent organs.

Clinical Features and Natural HistoryTop


1) A sudden-onset acute pain in the chest or back (or both). In patients with a thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm, abdominal pain may be present.

2) Acute respiratory failure due to aortic rupture into the left hemithorax.

3) Rarely, bleeding from the respiratory tract or from the upper gastrointestinal tract.

The closer the location of rupture to the aortic valve, the higher the risk of death. Over 75% of patients die within 24 hours.


Suspected aortic rupture is an indication for urgent computed tomography angiography (CTA) without contrast enhancement to detect possible intramural hematomas and subsequently for contrast-enhanced CTA to locate the rupture.


Invasive treatment (endovascular treatment is superior), regardless of the size of the aneurysm.

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