What is the role of atherosclerosis in the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Saum A Rahimi, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Most AAAs occur in individuals with advanced atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis may induce AAA formation by causing mechanical weakening of the aortic wall with loss of elastic recoil, along with degenerative ischemic changes, through obstruction of the vasa vasorum.

Many patients with advanced atherosclerosis do not develop AAA, and some patients having no evidence of atherosclerosis do. The observed association between atherosclerosis and AAA probably is not causative; however, atherosclerosis may represent a nonspecific secondary response to vessel-wall injury that is induced by multiple factors.

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