Mouse models for abdominal aortic aneurysm

Br J Pharmacol. 2022 Mar;179(5):792-810. doi: 10.1111/bph.15260. Epub 2020 Oct 21.


Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) rupture is estimated to cause 200,000 deaths each year. Currently, the only treatment for AAA is surgical repair; however, this is only indicated for large asymptomatic, symptomatic or ruptured aneurysms, is not always durable, and is associated with a risk of serious perioperative complications. As a result, patients with small asymptomatic aneurysms or who are otherwise unfit for surgery are treated conservatively, but up to 70% of small aneurysms continue to grow, increasing the risk of rupture. There is thus an urgent need to develop drug therapies effective at slowing AAA growth. This review describes the commonly used mouse models for AAA. Recent research in these models highlights key roles for pathways involved in inflammation and cell turnover in AAA pathogenesis. There is also evidence for long non-coding RNAs and thrombosis in aneurysm pathology. Further well-designed research in clinically relevant models is expected to be translated into effective AAA drugs. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed issue on Preclinical Models for Cardiovascular disease research (BJP 75th Anniversary). To view the other articles in this section visit

Keywords: abdominal aortic aneurysm; mouse models; pathology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal* / drug therapy
  • Aortic Rupture* / complications
  • Aortic Rupture* / surgery
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mice