Most intact aortic aneurysms do not produce symptoms. As they enlarge, symptoms such as abdominal pain and back pain may develop. Compression of nerve roots may cause leg pain or numbness. Untreated, aneurysms tend to become progressively larger, although the rate of enlargement is unpredictable for any individual. Rarely, clotted blood which lines most aortic aneurysms can break off and result in an embolus. They may be found on physical examination. Medical imaging is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Symptoms may include: anxiety or feeling of stress; nausea and vomiting; clammy skin; rapid heart rate. In patients presenting with aneurysm of the arch of the aorta, a common symptom is a hoarse voice as the left recurrent laryngeal nerve (a branch of the vagus nerve) is stretched. This is due to the recurrent laryngeal nerve winding around the arch of the aorta. If an aneurysm occurs in this location, the arch of the aorta will swell, hence stretching the left recurrent laryngeal nerve. The patient therefore has a hoarse voice as the recurrent laryngeal nerve allows function and sensation in the voicebox. Abdominal aortic aneurysms, hereafter referred to as AAAs, are the most common type of aortic aneurysm. One reason for this is that elastin, the principal load-bearing protein present in the wall of the aorta, is reduced in the abdominal aorta as compared to the thoracic aorta (nearer the heart). Another is that the abdominal aorta does not possess vasa vasorum, hindering repair. Most are true aneurysms that involve all three layers (tunica intima, tunica media and tunica adventitia), and are generally asymptomatic before rupture. The most common sign for the aortic aneuysm is the Erythema nodosum also known as leg lesions typically found near the ankle area. The prevalence of AAAs increases with age, with an average age of 65–70 at the time of diagnosis. AAAs have been attributed to atherosclerosis, though other factors are involved in their formation. An AAA may remain asymptomatic indefinitely. There is a large risk of rupture once the size has reached 5 cm, though some AAAs may swell to over 15 cm in diameter before rupturing. Before rupture, an AAA may present as a large, pulsatile mass above the umbilicus. A bruit may be heard from the turbulent flow in a severe atherosclerotic aneurysm or if thrombosis occurs. Unfortunately, however, rupture is usually the first hint of AAA. Once an aneurysm has ruptured, it presents with a classic pain-hypotension-mass triad. The pain is classically reported in the abdomen, back or flank. It is usually acute, severe and constant, and may radiate through the abdomen to the back. The diagnosis of an abdominal aortic aneurysm can be confirmed at the bedside by the use of ultrasound. Rupture could be indicated by the presence of free fluid in potential abdominal spaces, such as Morison's pouch, the splenorenal space (between the spleen and left kidney), subdiaphragmatic spaces (underneath the diaphragm) and peri-vesical spaces. A contrast-enhanced abdominal CT scan is needed for confirmation. Only 10–25% of patients survive rupture due to large pre- and post-operative mortality. Annual mortality from ruptured abdominal aneurysms in the United States alone is about 15,000. Another important complication of AAA is formation of a thrombus in the aneurysm.