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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2005 Sep;30(3):227-44.

A review of biological factors implicated in abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.


Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) rupture is the 13th commonest cause of death in the Western World. Although considerable research has been applied to the aetiology and mechanism of aneurysm expansion, little is known about the mechanism of rupture. Aneurysm rupture was historically considered to be a simple physical process that occurred when the aortic wall could no longer contain the haemodynamic stress of the circulation. However, AAAs do not conform to the law of Laplace and there is growing evidence that aneurysm rupture involves a complex series of biological changes in the aortic wall. This paper reviews the available data on patient variables associated with aneurysm rupture and presents the evidence implicating biological factors in AAA rupture.

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