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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2001 June;56(3):287-98

language: Italian

Inflammatory abdominal aortic aneurysms

Rubini P., Bonati L., Parolari A., Spirito R.


The authors present a review of the literature on inflammatory abdominal aortic aneurysms. These aneurysms represent from 3 to 10% of all abdominal aortic aneurysms. Progress has occurred in the technical approach to these aneurysms, and operative morbidity and mortality have been remarkably reduced. However, the pathogenesis remains poorly understood. Early reports have considered the inflammatory aneurysm as a distinct clinical and pathological entity, whereas recent evidences suggest a common etiopathogenetic mechanism for both atherosclerotic and inflammatory aneurysms. Finally, genetic and environmental factors, such as tobacco use, may predispose certain persons to the development of non-inflammatory aneurysms and others to a wide spectrum of inflammatory reactions until inflammatory aneurysms development. The most common clinical features of these aneurysms are represented by symptoms, such as abdominal or back pain, obstructive uropathy and by an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Computed tomography (CT) allows a specific diagnosis by the typical image of soft tissue surrounding the aortic wall enhancing with contrast administration. Ultrasonography is less sensitive whereas nuclear magnetic resonance (RNM) is a promising technique. Excretory urography may suggest the diagnosis by demonstration of ureter entrapment. Surgical therapy, by a technique of limited dissection represents the definitive treatment. Evolution of fibrosis after surgery is still debated because some studies have reported complete regression of inflammation and other partial regression or persistence of fibrotic process. At present, endovascular treatment of these aneurysms is occasionally reported, although preliminary results appear satisfactory.

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