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Abdominal aortic aneurysms: fundamental concepts 

Abdominal aortic aneurysms: fundamental concepts
Abdominal aortic aneurysms: fundamental concepts

Ian M. Nordon

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date: 05 July 2020

Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are found in up to 8% of elderly men yet remain asymptomatic in most until they rupture. AAA rupture and its associated physiological insult carries an overall mortality rate > 80%. There is accruing evidence that AAAs represent systemic disease of the vasculature. Risk factors are increasing age, male gender, smoking, and high density lipoprotein (HDL) concentration. Familial associations exist but robust genetic studies have not discovered causative gene mutations. Susceptibility genes have been described based on candidate gene studies, enhancing proof of systemic vulnerability in the vascular tree. Insight into the pathogenesis is improving, which has led to greater interest in AAA growth biomarkers and possible medical management strategies that could be used to slow AAA development. To date, surgery remains the only validated treatment, yet a series of prospective randomized controlled trials are exploring the utility of pharmacological methods of growth inhibition.

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