The aorta is the largest, highest pressure artery in the body that distributes blood from the heart to all areas of the body. High pressure can cause the weakened portion of the wall to enlarge or balloon. This weak spot is called an aneurysm and may leak or rupture causing internal bleeding and/or death. The abdominal aorta ultrasound can detect aneurysms as well as blockages in the lower portion of the aorta below the diaphragm. It can also be used to check the aorta after repair. Fasting is required before this test is performed. Usually there are no presenting symptoms of an aneurysm so these are usually diagnosed initially by an incidental test or on physical exam.