Aneurysms are common in the abdominal and thoracic regions of the aorta. While generally asymptomatic, progression of aneurysms is associated with the devastating consequences of aortic rupture. Current therapeutic options to prevent rupture are restricted to surgical repair, as there remains a lack of validated pharmaceutical approaches. Absence of proven medical therapies may be a consequence of the paucity of knowledge on mechanisms of aneurysmal initiation, progression and rupture. Many potential therapeutic targets have been identified in several widely used animal models of these diseases. A small number of these targets are currently under clinical evaluation, while many more are in preclinical stages of evaluation. The purpose of this review is to: (1) overview current understanding of mechanisms of aneurysmal initiation and progression and (2) summarise medical therapies that have been investigated clinically, as well as highlight future therapeutic targets.
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