Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Mar 08, 2021
  • Author: Saum A Rahimi, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Abdominal, back, or flank pain of sudden onset is characteristic of a rapidly expanding or ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). The diagnosis should be entertained whenever a patient older than 50 years presents with abdominal pain, particularly when pain is associated with syncope or signs of hemorrhagic shock.

Other problems to be considered in a patient with a possible AAA include the following:

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) bleed
  • Ischemic bowel
  • Nephrolithiasis
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Perforated GI ulcer
  • Pyelonephritis

Differential Diagnoses