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  • An aneurysm or aneurism is a localized, blood-filled balloon-like bulge in the wall of a blood vessel. Aneurysms can occur in any blood vessel, with examples including aneurysms of the circle of Willis in the brain, aortic aneurysms affecting the thoracic aorta, and abdominal aortic aneurysms. Aneurysms can also occur within the heart itself. As an aneurysm increases in size, the risk of rupture increases. A ruptured aneurysm can lead to bleeding and subsequent hypovolemic shock, leading to death. Aneurysms are a result of a weakened blood vessel wall, and can be a result of a hereditary condition or an acquired disease. Aneurysms can also be a nidus for clot formation and embolization.

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