What causes an aortic aneurysm?

The exact cause of an aortic aneurysm is often difficult to determine, but many factors potentially can contribute to the development of an aortic aneurysm. Some of the most common conditions associated with aneurysm formation are:
  • congenital or genetic causes for weakness of the artery wall (present from birth)
  • changes in the aorta due to advanced age
  • connective tissue disorders such as Marfan or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • inflammation of the aorta
  • hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) where fat, cholesterol, and other substances (plaque) clog the arteries
  • injury from falls or motor vehicle accidents
  • untreated infection such as syphilis or salmonella
In some cases, aneurysms run in families and are classified as “familial," so several members of extended families may be affected by aneurysms in different locations.

This content originally appeared online in "The Patient Guide to Heart, Lung, and Esophageal Surgery" from the Society of Thoracic Surgery.

Continue Learning about Aneurysms

what is the hybrid approach for aortic aneurysms ?
NewYork-Presbyterian HospitalNewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Patients who have extensive aortic aneurysms (affecting both the ascending aorta and aortic arch, an...
More Answers
what causes an aneurysm ?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Aneurysms are caused by a weakening of artery walls. When the force of blood flow pushes against a ...
More Answers
what is endovascular coiling or stenting ?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Endovascular coiling (sometimes called endovascular embolization) is a medical procedure used to tr...
More Answers
what is a less-invasive way of treating a thoraco-abdominal aneurysm ?
The Society of Thoracic SurgeonsThe Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Treating aneurysms of the thoracic and abdominal aorta using a less invasive endovascular approach, ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.