Blood Test Could Detect Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection
Researchers Identify Key Biomarkers Associated with Lethal Condition
Portland, OR - A team of investigators has developed an innovative blood test that may provide a faster, simpler way for emergency room doctors and others to diagnose and monitor potentially deadly aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections, for which early diagnosis is critical for survival.
The research from Shriners Hospital for Children and Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, and Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, which was published online today by Circulation Research, found that high blood levels of fibrillin-1, a protein essential to the make-up of the body’s connective tissue and blood vessels, are about twice as common in people with thoracic aortic aneurysm than in people with other types of aortic aneurysms.
The high fibrillin-1 levels most likely are caused by damage to connective tissue or blood vessels. The researchers also found that high levels of fibrillin-1 fragments are more likely to be associated with aortic dissection. These new findings are potentially revolutionary because they mean that fibrillin-1 could someday be used in a blood test to diagnose aortic aneurysm and dissection instead of through medical imaging.
According to Dr. Lynn Sakai, a biochemist and researcher from Shriners Hospital for Children, the original goal of this study was to provide better management of aortic disease for children and adults with Marfan syndrome, a life-threatening genetic disorder that puts people at up to 250 times increased risk of aortic dissection as compared to the general public. Dr. Sakai, whose research group first cloned the gene for fibrillin-1 (the Marfan gene), initiated the current research with funding from The Marfan Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children. Continue>
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