Acute aortic syndrome

Blood test could detect life-threatening aortic tears

A simple blood test could help doctors spot deadly damage to the aorta, the body’s largest blood vessel, according to research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference.

Photo
Source: pixabay_Belova59

Acute aortic syndrome (AAS) occurs when the wall of the aorta tears and blood begins to flow between the layers of the blood vessel wall. Patients with AAS need immediate treatment - in the most severe cases emergency surgery - to prevent the artery from rupturing and the patient potentially dying. However, diagnosing the disease in time is often difficult as symptoms, such as chest pain, can be attributed to other commoner conditions.

Now, researchers at the Universities of Dundee and Edinburgh have found that testing for a molecule called ‘desmosine’ may speed up diagnosis of this deadly disease which affects around 3000 people in the UK every year.

Researchers compared blood concentrations of desmosine in 53 patients known to have AAS and 106 people without the disease. They found that those suffering from AAS had almost double the concentration of desmosine in their blood. Desmosine levels were also associated with aortic growth which occurs when the aorta becomes damaged.

The team believe that desmosine is released into the blood when the tissues within the wall of the aorta break down, signalling that the aorta has been damaged and is at risk of expanding or bursting. They now hope to use these findings to explore whether a simple blood test for desmosine could speed up the diagnosis of AAS in hospital.

Mr Maaz Syed, Clinical Research Fellow at the BHF Department for Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Edinburgh, said: “Right now, acute aortic syndrome is catastrophic. Diagnosis is difficult, and when it comes to treatment every second’s delay can prove fatal. We urgently need a new, faster way to diagnose this catastrophic disease so that we can get patients the swift, life-saving treatment that they need. We need to confirm these results in bigger trials, but we hope that we have a potential biomarker that may help us detect a dangerous disease.”

Professor James Leiper, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation which funded the research, said: “This research shows that high blood levels of desmosine could act as a molecular warning sign, flagging that the aorta is damaged and that a patient needs immediate treatment.
“If the findings of the current work are replicated in larger studies, this tiny molecule could one day form the basis of a much-needed hospital test to detect AAS, speeding up treatments and ultimately saving lives.”

Dr Anna-Maria Choy, Clinical Senior Lecturer at Dundee’s School of Medicine, said: “Time is absolutely vital when the aorta develops a tear and so anything that enables clinicians to make a rapid diagnosis and begin treatment right away will undoubtedly save lives. Desmosine is almost the holy grail in this regard because until now we do not have reliable blood tests for aortic tears. This is why my colleague Dr Jeffrey Huang sought to develop a simple test that would allow for quick diagnosis. Using his technology, we have been able to work with collaborators in Edinburgh to prove that desmosine is a biomarker of AAS.”

Source: British Heart Foundation

10.06.2021

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

Cardiology, quick!

New blood test speeds up heart attack diagnosis

A new blood test to detect heart attacks has been developed by a team of researchers at King’s College, London, which could speed up diagnosis, according to results from pan-European trials. The…

Photo

Covid-19 detection

New blood test measures immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants

The Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and EPFL teamed up to develop a new test that’s sensitive enough to measure the amount of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies present in the bloodstream. The…

Photo

The gentle touch

Vacuette® Evoprotect Safety Blood Collection Set: the next evolution of safety

Greiner Bio-One presents the Vacuette® Evoprotect Safety Blood Collection Set - the ideal choice for venous blood collection and short-term infusion of intervenous fluids.

Related products

Lifotronic - FA-160 Immunofluorescence Analyzer

Other

Lifotronic - FA-160 Immunofluorescence Analyzer

Lifotronic Technology Co., Ltd
Alsachim, a Shimadzu group company – Dosinaco

Clinical Chemistry

Alsachim, a Shimadzu group company – Dosinaco

Alsachim, a Shimadzu Group Company
ASP Lab Automation – Recapper KapSafe

Sample Processing

ASP Lab Automation – Recapper KapSafe

ASP Lab Automation AG
ASP Lab Automation – Tube Sorter SortPro

Sample Processing

ASP Lab Automation – Tube Sorter SortPro

ASP Lab Automation AG
Beckman Coulter – DxH 500 Family

Blood Cell Counter

Beckman Coulter – DxH 500 Family

Beckman Coulter, Inc.
Subscribe to Newsletter