Arterial Aneurysms in Children and Teens

What is an arterial aneurysm?

An arterial aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of the artery. Arterial aneurysms in children and teens are a rare but potentially serious condition that may require treatment. Arterial aneurysms can occur in a variety of locations including:

  • Aorta (the largest artery of the body)
  • Aortic branch vessels
  • Arteries of the limbs and the neck

Causes of arterial aneurysms

Some children are born with conditions that can lead to aortic and branch vessel artery aneurysms. We call conditions that are present at birth congenital.

Congenital causes of arterial aneurysms include:

  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Williams syndrome
  • Tuberous sclerosis
  • Polyarteritis nodosa

Other conditions such as inflammatory and connective tissue diseases can also cause arterial aneurysms in children. Examples of these conditions include:

  • Takayasu arteritis
  • Kawasaki’s disease
  • Infections
  • Connective tissue diseases such as Marfan’s and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

Testing and diagnosis of arterial aneurysms

At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the first step in caring for a child with a suspected arterial aneurysm is a thorough evaluation by a multidisciplinary team of experts.

Our technologists have special training and use the most advanced imaging technology to make sure your child receives an accurate, detailed diagnosis. This is an important first step in offering a personalized treatment plan for your child. We give you the information you need to help you make the best decisions about your child’s care.

As part of your child’s evaluation, we will review their medical history and perform a physical exam. Imaging tests can give us more information about your child’s condition. These tests may include:

  • Ultrasound
  • Computed tomographic angiography (CTA)
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)

Treatment of arterial aneurysm

Coordinated, personalized and expert care is key in managing children with these conditions. Our team of specialists offers the full range of care.

For children who meet criteria for repair, vascular surgery is a potential option. Vascular surgery in children and teens has unique challenges that require expert care from an experienced team.

At CHOP, your child has access to world-class care from an interdisciplinary team of pediatric specialists. Our team includes specialists from general surgery, nephrology, interventional radiology, cardiology, cardiac surgery, hematology and genetics, among others. We work together to provide the best care for each individual patient, close monitoring and long-term follow-up.

Contact Us

Whether your child was just diagnosed with an arterial aneurysm, or you’ve been on this journey for a while and are looking for a second opinion, we are here to help.

Surgery Patient with Childlife Specialist

Why Choose Us for Your Child's Surgery

CHOP’s pediatric general surgeons are experts in the surgical and postoperative care of premature babies, neonates, children and adolescents.

Surgery Prep Family in Prep Room with Doctor

Preparing for Your Child's Surgery

Find tips to prepare for your preoperative visit with CHOP’s pediatric general surgeons, and resources to help prepare your child for surgery.