Pharmacological treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm

Cardiovasc Res. 2009 Aug 1;83(3):436-43. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvp155. Epub 2009 May 19.


Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a common degenerative condition with high mortality in older men. Elective surgical or endovascular repair is performed to prevent rupture of large AAAs. In contrast, despite gradual expansion, small AAAs have a low risk of rupture, and there is currently no well-defined treatment strategy for them. Therefore, a pharmacological approach for AAA is expected in the clinical setting. Indeed, several therapeutic effects of pharmacological agents have been reported in experimental models, and some agents have undergone clinical trials. Treatment with statins, angiotensin-converting enzyme-inhibitors, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory agents appears to inhibit the growth rate of AAA in humans. However, as the sample size and follow-up period were limited in these studies, a large randomized study with long-term follow-up of small AAA should be performed to clarify the effect of these agents. Recently, the regression of AAA using molecular pharmacological approaches was reported in experimental studies. The characteristics of these strategies are the regulation of multiple molecular mediators and the signalling networks associated with AAA formation. On the basis of the results of these investigations, it may be possible to repair the injured aortic wall and obtain the remission of AAA using pharmacological therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aorta, Abdominal / drug effects*
  • Aorta, Abdominal / metabolism
  • Aorta, Abdominal / pathology
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / drug therapy*
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / metabolism
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / pathology
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drugs, Investigational / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Remission Induction
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Drugs, Investigational
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors