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Lancet. 2005 Apr 30-May 6;365(9470):1577-89.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, University of Liège, Sart-Tilman 4000 Liège, Belgium.


Abdominal aortic aneurysms cause 1.3% of all deaths among men aged 65-85 years in developed countries. These aneurysms are typically asymptomatic until the catastrophic event of rupture. Repair of large or symptomatic aneurysms by open surgery or endovascular repair is recommended, whereas repair of small abdominal aortic aneurysms does not provide a significant benefit. Abdominal aortic aneurysm is linked to the degradation of the elastic media of the atheromatous aorta. An inflammatory cell infiltrate, neovascularisation, and production and activation of various proteases and cytokines contribute to the development of this disorder, although the underlying mechanisms are unknown. In this Seminar, we aim to provide an updated review of the pathophysiology, current and new diagnostic procedures, assessment, and treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm to provide family practitioners with a working knowledge of this disorder.

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