open access

Vol 12, No 1 (2006)
Review papers
Published online: 2006-03-27
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The varying morphology and aetiology of arterial aneurysms. A historical review

Raphaël Suy
Acta Angiologica 2006;12(1):1-6.

open access

Vol 12, No 1 (2006)
Review papers
Published online: 2006-03-27

Abstract

Swelling of the arteries of the extremities is an old disease and has been first reported in ancient Egyptian and Indian texts. The term ‘aneurysm’ has been introduced in the first century by Ruphus from Ephesus. From the beginning, distinction was made between spontaneous and posttraumatic aneurysms. Spontaneous aneurysms were mostly considered to be related to debilitation due to exertion. While the majority of traumatic aneurysms were due to accidental pricking of an artery during bloodletting.
Arterial aneurysms of the aorta and its side branches were first reported in the 16th century. However, it has to be taken into consideration that post-mortem exams were not done before the Renaissance. Most aortic aneurysms were saccular, eroding the neighbouring organs. This is typical for syphilitic aneurysms. However, although suspected, syphilis has not been recognized as the primary cause of aortic aneurysm until the end of the 19th century. In the mean time, fusiform ‘degenerative atherosclerotic’ aneurysms, especially on the abdominal aorta, became more frequent. It is now generally accepted that the cause of this aneurysm is multifactorial and exciting scientific research is actually done to elucidate this complex pathology.

Abstract

Swelling of the arteries of the extremities is an old disease and has been first reported in ancient Egyptian and Indian texts. The term ‘aneurysm’ has been introduced in the first century by Ruphus from Ephesus. From the beginning, distinction was made between spontaneous and posttraumatic aneurysms. Spontaneous aneurysms were mostly considered to be related to debilitation due to exertion. While the majority of traumatic aneurysms were due to accidental pricking of an artery during bloodletting.
Arterial aneurysms of the aorta and its side branches were first reported in the 16th century. However, it has to be taken into consideration that post-mortem exams were not done before the Renaissance. Most aortic aneurysms were saccular, eroding the neighbouring organs. This is typical for syphilitic aneurysms. However, although suspected, syphilis has not been recognized as the primary cause of aortic aneurysm until the end of the 19th century. In the mean time, fusiform ‘degenerative atherosclerotic’ aneurysms, especially on the abdominal aorta, became more frequent. It is now generally accepted that the cause of this aneurysm is multifactorial and exciting scientific research is actually done to elucidate this complex pathology.
Get Citation

Keywords

history; arterial aneurysm

About this article
Title

The varying morphology and aetiology of arterial aneurysms. A historical review

Journal

Acta Angiologica

Issue

Vol 12, No 1 (2006)

Pages

1-6

Published online

2006-03-27

Bibliographic record

Acta Angiologica 2006;12(1):1-6.

Keywords

history
arterial aneurysm

Authors

Raphaël Suy

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