[en] Collagen and elastin are the main extracellular matrix proteins providing the aortic wall with adequate mechanical properties and resistance for proper function. Our study aimed at investigating the relationship between the elastin concentration of the wall of normal and aneurysmal abdominal aortas (AAA), the collagen concentration, and its extractability, as a function of their size. Infrarenal aortas were collected from 30 patients undergoing operative repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm. Age-matched control samples were obtained from eight autopsies of individuals without vascular disease. Samples were divided into five groups according to the aortic diameter: control group (group N, n = 8); < 50 mm (group I, n = 6; between 50-75 mm (group II, n = 10); > 75 mm (group III, n = 7); and ruptured (group IV, n = 7). The collagen concentration in samples from group I was similar to the controls. An increased collagen concentration was observed in group II and remained at the same level in the largest and ruptured aneurysms. Extractability of collagen was found to be increased in group III and was even higher in group IV. A highly significant reduction in elastin concentration was observed in group I and there was progressive reduction with increasing diameter and rupture. A significant correlation could be established between aortic diameter, increased collagen extractability and decreased elastin content.