Sealed rupture of abdominal aortic aneurysms, even if uncommon, deserves particular attention for the possibility of misdiagnosis and for the deleterious effects of such a misdiagnosis. Sixteen patients (mean age 72 years; range 65 to 84 years) with chronic sealed rupture of abdominal aortic aneurysms are reported. Two patients had acute rupture of the aneurysm, and at operation chronic contained rupture was found along with the recent hemorrhage. One patient died after surgery. The remaining patients underwent successful resection with long-term survival and regression of symptoms. Consideration of sealed abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture should be included when examining elderly patients with history of unexplained back pain or femoral neuropathy. Computed tomography is a useful aid in the diagnosis of sealed rupture. Ultrasonography is less accurate; in three patients ultrasonography failed to diagnose the presence of the rupture.