An aortic aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in the aorta, the large artery that carries blood from the heart through the chest and torso.

What could be the possible causes of aneurism?

1 Answer 1


Aneurysm - a pathologic ballooning of a segment of a blood vessel


Source: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/arm/types - Public Domain

In order for an aneurysm to occur, conditions must be present that cause degradation or abnormal development of the structural components of the blood vessel wall.

We can list out common causes into those two categories:

Degradation/Degenerative factors

The usual suspects.

These factors all contribute to inflammation, oxidative stress, and biomechanical wall stress in blood vessels like the aorta. This damage to the structural integrity of the aortic wall can lead to an aneurysm.

  • Aging

  • Cigarrete smoking

  • Hypercholesterolemia

  • Hypertension

  • Artherosclerosis

Abnormal development

These factors can lead to a weakened and vulnerable aortic wall:

Other causes can include infections or chest trauma.


Primary source: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine; 19th Ed. (pp 1637-1638)

More reading:

  1. Etiology section in Medscape article on aneurysms
  2. "What causes aneurysms?" in a webMD article on Heart Disease
  3. Aortic aneurysm causes in an emedicinehealth article on aortic aneurysms.
  • 1
    Almost a good answer. Give us a source for the diagram and the degenerative causes and I'll give you a +1. :-)
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 2:25

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