Inflammatory changes in the aneurysm wall: a review

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Abstract

Rupture of a saccular intracranial artery aneurysm (IA) causes subarachnoid hemorrhage, a significant cause of stroke and death. The current treatment options, endovascular coiling and clipping, are invasive and somewhat risky. Since only some IAs rupture, those IAs at risk for rupture should be identified. However, to improve the imaging of rupture-prone IAs and improve IA treatment, IA wall pathobiology requires more thorough knowledge. Chronic inflammation has become understood as an important phenomenon in IA wall pathobiology, featuring inflammatory cell infiltration as well as proliferative and fibrotic remodulatory responses. We review the literature on what is known about inflammation in the IA wall and also review the probable mechanisms of how inflammation would result in the degenerative changes that ultimately lead to IA wall rupture. We also discuss current options in imaging inflammation and how knowledge of inflammation in IA walls may improve IA treatment.

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