Pseudoaneurysm Evaluation and Treatment
A pseudoaneurysm, also known as a false aneurysm, is a leakage of arterial
blood from an artery into the surrounding tissue with a continuing communication
between the originating artery and the resultant adjacent cavity. Some
pseudoaneurysms resolve themselves, though others require treatment to
prevent hemorrhage, an uncontrolled leak or other complications.
A gunshot wound, stabbing, or bomb blast can disrupt the arterial wall
and allow blood to leak into the surrounding tissue, forming a pseudoaneurysm.
A kick to the shin or even a bad ankle sprain can damage the wall of an
artery enough to create a pseudoaneurysm.
A pseudoaneurysm may be a complication of cardiac catheterization, a procedure
in which a catheter is inserted in an artery in your groin (femoral artery)
and is threaded through your blood vessels to your heart. Cardiac catheterization
is used to capture images of your heart to diagnose heart disease and
to treat certain types of heart disease. A pseudoaneurysm can occur if
blood leaks and pools outside your femoral artery where it was punctured
so the catheter could be inserted.
A patient who presents with a history of trauma or endovascular procedure
and has a painful, pulsatile, tender mass at the site of catheterization
or trauma should be suspected to have a pseudoaneurysm. The diagnosis
should be confirmed using Duplex ultrasonography, which will reveal arterial
blood flow into the pseudoaneurysm.