AAA

New cause of abdominal aortic aneurysm uncovered

Researchers have discovered that a family of lipids (fats) contribute to the development of a serious aortic disease, by driving clotting in the blood vessel wall. The findings could lead to the development of new treatments for this potentially life threatening condition.

ct scan of aortic aneurysm in the abdomen
CT scan of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Upon rupture, uncontrolled internal bleeding can lead to death within minutes.

The team, led by researchers at Cardiff University, in collaboration with colleagues at Oxford and Erlangen, discovered that the lipids, called eoxPL, promote the development of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) - a disease of the aorta where inflammation causes damage and can ultimately lead to rupture. The study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

When AAA ruptures, uncontrolled internal bleeding can lead to death within minutes; only about 2 in 10 people survive. Many aneurysms are not detected until they rupture, and for those that are, treatments to stop them progressing are limited. Men aged 65 and over are most at risk of developing AAAs.

Professor Valerie O'Donnell, Co-Director of Systems Immunity Research Institute at Cardiff University, who led the research, said: “After discovering new lipids that promote blood clotting, we wondered if they also played a part in AAA, as we know the condition is linked to blood clotting. “Our research found that these lipids in circulating blood cells did promote AAA formation in the vessel wall, because they directly regulate blood clotting. Unexpectedly, when administered into the blood system, the same lipids were also found to have preventative properties because rather than being made by circulating blood cells in the vessel wall, they instead mop up clotting factors, causing them to be removed from circulation, and preventing disease.”

This research gives us a new understanding of the biological links between blood clotting and the development of an AAA

Jeremy Pearson

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, which funded the research, added: “An AAA is not usually found before a life-threatening rupture occurs, and there is no routine treatment to prevent them. However, screening is offered to men from 65 years of age, which involves a simple 10-15 minute ultrasound scan. “This research gives us a new understanding of the biological links between blood clotting and the development of an AAA. The findings also suggest that to stop blood clotting from happening, whether directly or by blocking the formation of these lipids, could be an effective way to reduce the risk of rupture in people where screening reveals an AAA.”


Source: Cardiff University

06.04.2019

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

Meta-analysis

Benefit and risk: drug-coated balloon angioplasty

Scientists of Jena University Hospital, Germany, conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate benefit and risk of paclitaxel-coated balloon angioplasty compared to conventional balloon angioplasty as…

Photo

Microstents vs foetal urethral strictures

The world’s smallest stent

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a new method for producing malleable microstructures – for instance, vascular stents that are 40 times smaller than previously possible. In the future, such…

Photo

Micro-constrictions

Reducing damage after a heart attack

Researchers in the Medical Sciences Division of Oxford University have established a key cause of micro blood vessels constricting during surgery to reopen a blocked artery, and identified a…

Related products

Eppendorf – Mastercycler nexus X2

Research Use Only (RUO)

Eppendorf – Mastercycler nexus X2

Eppendorf AG
Quart – DSA Test Phantom

Testing Devices

Quart – DSA Test Phantom

QUART GmbH
Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Research Use Only (RUO)

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

SARSTEDT AG & CO. KG
Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Research Use Only (RUO)

Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Shimadzu Europa GmbH