- The Japanese Circulation Society
- Circulation Reports (ISSN:24340790)
- vol.1, no.11, pp.474-480, 2019-11-08 (Released:2019-11-08)
Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are referred to as “time bombs”. The only way to prevent AAA rupture is elective repair beforehand using surgical replacement or an endovascular procedure. Non-surgical strategies to prevent AAA expansion are under intense investigation. At each AAA stage, that is, occurrence, expansion, and rupture, the mechanisms and risk factors are different, as discussed in this review. Based on the mechanism and risk factors for AAA expansion, the most effective strategy against AAA expansion need to be identified, but so far none has. Exercise is known to be essential for preventing atherosclerosis related to the coexistence of AAA and CAD, but some doctors are hesitant to prescribe exercise programs to AAA patients given that BP elevation during exercise can cause AAA expansion or rupture. In our retrospective study and prospective study on the safety and effectiveness of exercise for AAA patients, the protective role of mild-moderate exercise against expansion of small AAA was clearly shown. The stability of AAA on exercise might be related to reduced inflammatory activity in the aortic wall, stabilized elevation in BP during exercise, increased aortic blood flow, upregulation of transforming growth factor-β1, moderated BMI and/or fat, or improved endothelial function. Until a revolutionary drug emerges that can regress AAA, cardiac rehabilitation remains the best strategy for preventing AAA expansion and rupture.