Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), a common disease among elderly individuals, involves the progressive dilatation of the abdominal aorta as a consequence of degeneration. The mechanisms of AAA formation, development and rupture are largely unknown. Surgical repair is the only available method of treatment since the lack of knowledge regarding the pathogenesis of AAA has hindered the development of suitable medical treatments, particularly the development of drugs. In this review, we describe the inflammatory cells and proteases that may be involved in the formation and development of AAA. This knowledge can contribute to the development of new drugs for AAA.
Keywords: Abdominal aortic aneurysm, inflammatory cells, proteases, extracellular matrix, macrophages, atherosclerosis.