Biomarker For Acute Aortic Syndrome May be Especially Important To Evaluate in Connective Tissue Disorders

A new study has demonstrated that plasma desmosine could be an acute aortic syndrome biomarker. This also means it could be a potential diagnostic tool.

The findings from this study have been published in Heart. The research was the result of collaboration between the University of Dundee and the University of Edinburgh. It was funded by the British Heart Foundation.

The Study

The impetus for this study was that increase desmosine is known in abdominal aortic aneurysms, but no one has studied it in acute aortic syndrome specifically. This study aimed to examine the concentration of desmosine in these patients, compared to individuals who are healthy. The researchers ultimately wanted to understand how these concentrations change dependent on the phase of the syndrome.

The study included 53 individuals all diagnosed with acute aortic syndrome as well as 106 healthy controls. The group of patients was a bit older than the controls, more heavily male, and tended to have lower blood pressures due to their antihypertensive therapy.

The researchers found that across all subgroups (aortic dissections, penetrating aortic ulcers, and intramural haematomas) the desmosine concentration was higher in patients than it was in controls. Additionally, higher levels were observed closer to events. Levels peaked at presentation and then over time decreased. That said, even patients who were years past an event, had higher levels than controls.

The next step was to measure the levels in three different patients who experienced chest pain and later, acute aortic syndrome was diagnosed. In these patients, there was a 3-fold increase when compared to the healthy controls.

The team further found that the desmosine levels could be used to predict longitudinal outcomes such as intramural hematoma, aortic diameter, and age of dissection.

Finally, the team examined if there were any associations between levels and connective tissue disorders in patients. There was one patient in the study with Marfan syndrome. This individual had a 5-6 fold increase in levels. Two weeks following this measurement, a dissection had developed. This means that it may be beneficial to test desmosine levels in connective tissue disorder patients as it may be an important biomarker for acute aortic syndrome.

Looking Forward

The team is hopeful that desmosine levels could be used as a diagnostic tool. Not only did they find that the levels are higher in patients, they also found that they can detect levels within just 24 hours of when the first symptoms present themselves.

The research team ultimately concluded that further research is needed in this area. To accomplish such, collaboration across multiple research centers is necessary.

You can read more about this study and its findings here.

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