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High Blood Pressure

Re: Pulse in stomach/high blood pressure

08/27/2007

Question:

I have controlled high blood pressure. Recently I have been having stomach discomfort. I have noticed that my pulse apears in the middle of my stomach in the naval area. I can place an object on the stomach and see it rise and fall with the heartbeat of the pulse. Is this a concern or just a result of normal pulse function in that area?. Since I have had high blood pressure I am concerned that the pulse may be to high here. Please advise on this

Answer:

Many patients can feel the pulse of the aorta in the area of the stomach and abdomen.  In most cases, this is due to some hardening of the arteries and may be harmless.  However, in some case, the cause can be a dilatation of the aorta (the main blood vessel in the chest and abdomen).  Such a dilatation is called aneurysm.  Aneurysms tend to grow, and if untreated, can lead to leakage or even rupture of the aorta. 

The best way to diagnose an abdominal aortic aneurysm is by ultrasound.  If an aneurysm is present, further imaging with CT scan or MRI needs to be done, and some cases require surgery. You should to speak with your physician about this.

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Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati