This site is intended for healthcare professionals
Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is defined as an enlargement of the aorta of at least 1.5 times its normal diameter or greater than 3 cm diameter in total (1)
Majorty of AAAs are usually located between diaphragm and the aortic bifurcation. It can be classified
The disease is caused by a degenerative process involving all layers of the vessel wall. Four events can be identified in the pathophysiology of the AAA:
Most AAAs are asymptomatic, and they are often diagnosed opportunistically during clinical examination or investigation for another condition. Because of this it is difficult to establish their prevalence. There is a national screening programme which enrols men at age 65 and suggests a prevalence of about 1.3% in this population. The prevalence is falling (3).
The prevalence of AAAs is approximately 6 times lower in women, but the rate of aneurysm rupture is significantly higher (3).