Early Detection of Undiagnosed Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm and Sub-Aneurysmal Aortic Dilatations in Patients with High-Risk Coronary Artery Disease: The Value of Targetted Screening Programme.
ABSTRACT: Introduction:Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and coronary artery disease (CAD) share common risk factors. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of undiagnosed AAA in patients with angiographically diagnosed significant CAD. Patients and Methods:Male patients aged 50 years and above (including indigenous people) with angiographically diagnosed significant CAD in the recent one year were screened for AAA. Standard definition of abdominal aortic aneurysm and CAD was used. All new patients were followed up for six months for AAA events (ruptured AAA and AAA-related mortality). Results:A total of 277 male patients were recruited into this study. The total prevalence of undiagnosed AAA in this study population was 1.1% (95% CI 0.2-3.1). In patients with high-risk CAD, the prevalence of undiagnosed AAA was 1.7% (95% CI 0.3-4.8). The detected aneurysms ranged in size from 35.0mm to 63.8mm. Obesity was a common factor in these patients. There were no AAA-related mortality or morbidity during the follow-up. Although the total prevalence of undiagnosed AAA is low in the studied population, the prevalence of sub-aneurysmal aortic dilatation in patients with significant CAD was high at 6.6% (95% CI 3.9-10.2), in which majority were within the younger age group than 65 years old. Conclusion:This was the first study on the prevalence of undiagnosed AAA in a significant CAD population involving indigenous people in the island of Borneo. Targeted screening of patients with high-risk CAD even though they are younger than 65 years old effectively discover potentially harmful asymptomatic AAA and sub-aneurysmal aortic dilatations.
Project description:Stiffening of the aortic wall is a phenomenon consistently observed in age and in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). However, its role in AAA pathophysiology is largely undefined.Using an established murine elastase-induced AAA model, we demonstrate that segmental aortic stiffening precedes aneurysm growth. Finite-element analysis reveals that early stiffening of the aneurysm-prone aortic segment leads to axial (longitudinal) wall stress generated by cyclic (systolic) tethering of adjacent, more compliant wall segments. Interventional stiffening of AAA-adjacent aortic segments (via external application of surgical adhesive) significantly reduces aneurysm growth. These changes correlate with the reduced segmental stiffness of the AAA-prone aorta (attributable to equalized stiffness in adjacent segments), reduced axial wall stress, decreased production of reactive oxygen species, attenuated elastin breakdown, and decreased expression of inflammatory cytokines and macrophage infiltration, and attenuated apoptosis within the aortic wall, as well. Cyclic pressurization of segmentally stiffened aortic segments ex vivo increases the expression of genes related to inflammation and extracellular matrix remodeling. Finally, human ultrasound studies reveal that aging, a significant AAA risk factor, is accompanied by segmental infrarenal aortic stiffening.The present study introduces the novel concept of segmental aortic stiffening as an early pathomechanism generating aortic wall stress and triggering aneurysmal growth, thereby delineating potential underlying molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets. In addition, monitoring segmental aortic stiffening may aid the identification of patients at risk for AAA.
Project description:PURPOSE: Coronary artery disease (CAD) shares several risk factors with abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). We evaluated the prevalence during transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and risk factors of AAA in patients with CAD. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 1300 CAD patients were screened from August 2009 to May 2010, and measurement of abdominal aorta size was feasible in 920 patients (71%) at the end of routine TTE. An AAA was defined as having a maximal diameter of ?30 mm. RESULTS: Of the 920 patients, 22 (2.4% of the study population) were diagnosed with AAA; of these AAA patients, 86% were male, and 82% were over 65 years-old. Abdominal aortic size was weakly correlated with aortic root diameter (r=0.22, p<0.01). Although the proportions of male gender, hypertension, and dyslipidemia were higher in AAA patients, such differences were not statistically significant. Advanced age [odds ratio (OR)=1.07; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01-1.12; p<0.01], smoking (OR=3.44; 95% CI: 1.18-10.04; p=0.02), and peripheral arterial disease (OR=5.88; 95% CI: 1.38-25.05; p=0.01) were found to be associated with AAA. CONCLUSION: Although prevalence of AAA is very low in the Asian population, the prevalence of AAA in Asian CAD patients is higher than the general population. Therefore, opportunistic examination of the abdominal aorta during routine TTE could be effective, especially for male CAD patients over 65 years with a history of smoking or peripheral arterial disease.
Project description:Extracellular matrix degradation is a hallmark of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Among proteases that are capable of degrading extracellular matrix are a disintegrin and metalloproteases with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTS). Pathogenesis of these proteases in AAA has not been investigated until date.Human aneurysmal and control aortas were collected and analyzed with RT-PCR measuring the ADAMTS-1, 4,5,6,8,9,10,13,17 and ADAMTSL-1. Expression of a majority of the investigated ADAMTS members on mRNA level was decreased in aneurysm compared to control aorta. ADAMTS-1 was one of the members that was reduced most. Protein analysis using immunohistochemistry and western blot for localization and expression of ADAMTS-1 revealed that ADAMTS-1 was present predominantly in areas of SMCs and macrophages in aneurysmal aorta and higher expressed in AAA compared to control aortas. The role of ADAMTS-1 in AAA disease was further examined using ADAMTS-1 transgenic/apoE-/- mice with the experimental angiotensin II induced aneurysmal model. Transgenic mice overexpressing ADAMTS-1 showed to be similar to ADAMTS-1 wild type mice pertaining collagen, elastin content and aortic diameter.Several of the ADAMTS members, and especially ADAMTS-1, are down regulated at mRNA level in AAA, due to unknown mechanisms, at the same time ADAMTS-1 protein is induced. The cleavage of its substrates, don't seem to be crucial for the pathogenesis of AAA but rather more important in the development of thoracic aortic aneurysm and atherosclerosis as shown in previous studies.
Project description:Background:The mediators produced by CD4+ T lymphocytes are involved in the pathogenesis of aneurysmal lesions in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) patients. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize the CD4+ T cell subsets involved in human AAA. Methods:The CD4+ T cell subsets in 30 human aneurysmal lesions were determined using flow cytometry (FC) and immunohistochemistry (IHC). The peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with AAA were also analyzed by FC and compared with control subjects. Results:Human aneurysmal lesions contained IFN-?, IL-12p35, IL-4, IL-23p19, IL-17R, and IL-22 positive cells. PBMCs from AAA patients had higher expression levels of IFN-?, TNF-?, IL-4, and IL-22 when compared to controls. Conclusions:Our results show the presence of TH1, TH2, TH17, and TH22 subsets in aneurysmal lesions of AAA patients and suggest that these cells may be mainly activated in situ, where they can induce tissue degradation and contribute to the pathogenesis of AAA.
Project description:Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a progressive vascular disease responsible for 1-4% of the deaths in elderly men. This study aimed to characterize specific microRNA (miRNA) expression in aneurysmal smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and macrophages in order to identify circulating miRNAs associated with AAA. We screened 850 miRNAs in aneurysmal SMCs, M1 and M2 macrophages, and in control SMCs isolated by micro-dissection from aortic biopsies using microarray analysis. In all, 92 miRNAs were detected and 10 miRNAs were selected for validation by qRT-PCR in isolated cells (n = 5), whole control and aneurysmal aorta biopsies (n = 13), and plasma from patients (n = 24) undergoing AAA (over 50 mm) repair matched to patients (n = 18) with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) with atherosclerosis but not AAA. Seven miRNAs were modulated similarly in all aneurysmal cells. The Let-7f was downregulated in aneurysmal cells compared to control SMCs with a significant lower expression in M1 compared to M2 macrophages (0.1 fold, p = 0.03), correlated with a significant downregulation in whole aneurysmal aorta compared to control aorta (0.2 fold, p = 0.03). Significant levels of circulating let-7f (p = 0.048) were found in AAA patients compared to PAD patients with no significant correlation with aortic diameter (R2 = 0.03). Our study underlines the utility of profiling isolated aneurysmal cells to identify other miRNAs for which the modulation of expression might be masked when the whole aorta is used. The results highlight let-7f as a new potential biomarker for AAA.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Mural angiogenesis and macrophage accumulation are two pathologic hallmarks of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) disease. The heterodimeric transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is an essential regulator of angiogenesis and macrophage function. In this study, we investigated HIF-1 expression and activity in clinical and experimental AAA disease. METHODS:Human aortic samples were obtained from 24 AAA patients and six organ donors during open abdominal surgery. Experimental AAAs were created in 10-week-old male C57BL/6J mice by transient intra-aortic infusion of porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE). Expression of HIF-1? and its target gene messenger RNA (mRNA) levels were assessed in aneurysmal and control aortae. The HIF-1? inhibitors 2-methoxyestradiol and digoxin, the prolyl hydroxylase domain-containing protein (PHD) inhibitors cobalt chloride and JNJ-42041935, and the vehicle alone as control were administered daily to mice at varying time points beginning before or after PPE infusion. Influences on experimental AAA formation and progression were assessed by serial transabdominal ultrasound measurements of aortic diameter and histopathologic analysis at sacrifice. RESULTS:The mRNA levels for HIF-1?, vascular endothelial growth factor A, glucose transporter 1, and matrix metalloproteinase 2 were significantly increased in both human and experimental aneurysm tissue. Tissue immunostaining detected more HIF-1? protein in both human and experimental aneurysmal aortae compared with respective control aortae. Treatment with either HIF-1? inhibitor, beginning before or after PPE infusion, prevented enlargement of experimental aneurysms. Both HIF-1? inhibition regimens attenuated medial elastin degradation, smooth muscle cell depletion, and mural angiogenesis and the accumulation of macrophages, T cells, and B cells. Whereas mRNA levels for PHD1 and PHD2 were elevated in experimental aneurysmal aortae, pharmacologic inhibition of PHDs had limited effect on experimental aneurysm progression. CONCLUSIONS:Expression of HIF-1? and its target genes is increased in human and experimental AAAs. Treatment with HIF-1? inhibitors limits experimental AAA progression, with histologic evidence of attenuated mural leukocyte infiltration and angiogenesis. These findings underscore the potential significance of HIF-1? in aneurysm pathogenesis and as a target for pharmacologic suppression of AAA disease.
Project description:Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a common disease with often life-threatening consequences. This vascular disorder is responsible for 1-2% of all deaths in men aged 65 years or older. Autoimmunity may be responsible for the pathogenesis of AAA. Although it is well documented that infiltrating T cells are essentially always present in AAA lesions, little is known about their role in the initiation and/or progression of the disease. To determine whether T cells infiltrating AAA lesions contain clonally expanded populations of T cells, we amplified ?-chain TCR transcripts by the nonpalindromic adaptor-PCR/V?-specific PCR and/or V?-specific PCR, followed by cloning and sequencing. We report in this article that aortic abdominal aneurysmal lesions from 8 of 10 patients with AAA contained oligoclonal populations of T cells. Multiple identical copies of ?-chain TCR transcripts were identified in these patients. These clonal expansions are statistically significant. These results demonstrate that ?? TCR(+) T lymphocytes infiltrating aneurysmal lesions of patients with AAA have undergone proliferation and clonal expansion in vivo at the site of the aneurysmal lesion, in response to unidentified self- or nonself Ags. This evidence supports the hypothesis that AAA is a specific Ag-driven T cell disease.
Project description:Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) affects 4-5% of men over 65, and Aortic Dissection (AD) is a life-threatening aortic pathology associated with high morbidity and mortality. Initiators of AAA and AD include smoking and arterial hypertension, whilst key pathophysiological features of AAA and AD include chronic inflammation, hypoxia, and large modifications to the extra cellular matrix (ECM). As it stands, only surgical methods are available for preventing aortic rupture in patients, which often presents difficulties for recovery. No pharmacological treatment is available, as such researchers are attempting to understand the cellular and molecular pathophysiology of AAA and AD. Upregulation of matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs), particularly MMP-2 and MMP-9, has been identified as a key event occurring during aneurysmal growth. As such, several animal models of AAA and AD have been used to investigate the therapeutic potential of suppressing MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity as well as modulating the activity of other MMPs, and TIMPs involved in the pathology. Whilst several studies have offered promising results, targeted delivery of MMP inhibition still needs to be developed in order to avoid surgery in high risk patients.
Project description:Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a common vascular disease associated with high mortality rate due to progressive enlargement and eventual rupture. There is currently no established therapy known to alter the rate of aneurysmal expansion. Thus, understanding the processes that initiate and sustain aneurysmal growth is pivotal for the development of medical therapies aimed at halting disease progression. Using an elastase-induced AAA mouse model that recapitulates key features of human AAA, we previously reported that a natural IgG antibody directs alternative pathway complement activation and initiates the inflammatory process that culminates in aneurysmal development. The target of this natural antibody, however, was unknown. Herein we identify a natural IgG that binds to fibrinogen deposited in elastase-perfused aortic tissues, activates the complement lectin pathway (LP), and induces AAA. Moreover, we establish that alterations in the glycosylation patterns of this antibody critically affect its ability to activate the LP in vivo. We find that LP activation precedes the alternative pathway and absence of the LP complement protein mannan-binding lectin abrogates elastase-induced AAA. In human AAA tissues the mouse anti-fibrinogen antibody recognizes epitopes that localize to the same areas that stain positively for mannan-binding lectin, which suggests that the complement LP is engaged in humans as well. Lastly, we demonstrate that circulating antibodies in a subset of AAA patients react against fibrinogen or fibrinogen-associated epitopes in human aneurysmal tissues. Our findings support the concept that an autoimmune process directed at aortic wall self-antigens may play a central role in the immunopathogenesis of AAA.
Project description:Background The protective effects of polyamines on cardiovascular disease have been demonstrated in many studies. However, the roles of spermidine, a natural polyamine, in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) disease have not been studied. In this study, we investigated the influence and potential mechanisms of spermidine treatment on experimental AAA disease. Methods and Results Experimental AAAs were induced in 8- to 10-week-old male C57BL/6J mice by transient intra-aortic infusion of porcine pancreatic elastase. Spermidine was administered via drinking water at a concentration of 3 mmol/L. Spermidine treatment prevented experimental AAA formation with preservation of medial elastin and smooth muscle cells. In immunostaining, macrophages, T cells, neutrophils, and neovessels were significantly reduced in aorta of spermidine-treated, as compared with vehicle-treated elastase-infused mice. Additionally, flow cytometric analysis showed that spermidine treatment reduced aortic leukocyte infiltration and circulating inflammatory cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that spermidine treatment promoted autophagy-related proteins in experimental AAAs using Western blot analysis, immunostaining, and transmission electron microscopic examination. Autophagic function was evaluated for human abdominal aneurysmal and nonaneurysmal adjacent aortae from AAA patients using Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. Dysregulated autophagic function, as evidenced by increased SQSTM1/p62 protein and phosphorylated mTOR, was found in aneurysmal, as compared with nonaneurysmal, aortic segments. Conclusions Our results suggest that spermidine supplementation limits experimental AAA formation associated with preserved aortic structural integrity, attenuated aortic inflammatory infiltration, reduced circulating inflammatory monocytes, and increased autophagy-related proteins. These findings suggest that spermidine may be a promising treatment for AAA disease.