The stomach, intestines, kidneys and other vital organs get oxygen from the arteries of the abdominal aorta. However, in abdominal aortic disease, damage occurs that prevents the normal oxygen flow.

Abdominal aortic disease can cause the aorta to split (dissection) or dilate (aneurysm). In either case, the results can be fatal. Here’s a closer look at the symptoms, causes, and risk factors for this disease, plus the treatments Maryland Vascular Specialists can provide.

Overview Of Abdominal Aortic Disease

The aorta helps blood flow throughout the body. With the help of the abdominal aortic arteries, the body’s organs are constantly replenished with fresh oxygen through the blood.

In abdominal aortic disease, the system is bogged down and doesn’t flow as it should. This may happen gradually over time, or it may happen all at once in a traumatic event. There is a strong genetic/family component to this disease, which can be compounded by certain lifestyle factors.


Most people with the abdominal aortic disease do not have any symptoms. This is why it is so important to have routine checkups.

In some cases, patients with the abdominal aortic disease may experience these symptoms:

  • Abdominal pains or aching
  • Sharp, stabbing feelings in the stomach
  • Pain in and around the navel
  • Lower back pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fast pulse


There are many contributors to the breakdown of the aortic wall. Atherosclerosis, or a buildup of fatty plaque and deposits, is thought to play an important role. It occurs when the arteries harden and the normal blood flow may be disrupted.

The primary conditions that contribute to abdominal aortic disease are:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • High blood pressure
  • Genetic conditions
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Injuries
diagram of aortas affected by Abdominal Aortic Disease - Maryland Vascular Specialists