Aortic Aneurysm Causes

The main cause of aneurysm is atherosclerosis. This is a form of artery aging, with depositing of atheroma (fat) plaques on the vessel wall, which can cause obstruction or dilation.

In case of dilatation (aneurysm), there is a weakening of the vessel wall and a dilation of such segment as the time passes.

The atherosclerosis process is slow and may affect several arteries in the body. Besides the genetic causes, the other risk factors are:
– Smoking;
– High pressure;
– High-fat diet.

Figure 1. Aneurysm of thoracic aorta

There are also genetic diseases such as the Marfan syndrome, where there is a general weakening of the aortic wall, but these aneurysms are usually located at the heart exit (ascending thoracic aorta), involving the aortic valve.

The age plays a significant role in the development of aneurysms (mainly above 60 years old), as well as the male gender. About 5% of the males older than 60 years old will develop aortic aneurysms.

A vascular check-up with abdominal echography must be performed in high-risk persons.