Key discovery in the aetiology of abdominal aortic aneurysm

  • Allen-Redpath K & al.
  • Proc Natl Acad Sci USA
  • 3 Apr 2019

  • curated by Pavankumar Kamat
  • UK Medical News
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According to a new study funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), certain lipids could play a significant role in the development of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Researchers at the Cardiff University, in partnership with researchers at Oxford and Erlangen, found that a family of lipids, known as eoxPL, boosted development of the life-threatening aortic disease.

Following the discovery of new lipids that were found to promote blood-clotting, the researchers were interested to know if the lipids also played a role in the development of AAA. The findings showed that these lipids in circulating blood cells indeed augmented the development of AAA. Surprisingly, when the same lipids were administered into the blood system, they eliminated clotting factors from the circulation, thereby preventing disease.

AAAs are typically not detected until a rupture occurs, and there is no routine prevention method. Screening of AAAs using ultrasound is usually offered to older men (aged ≥65 years), who have the highest risk for the condition. The authors suggest that prevention of blood clotting by blocking the lipids could be an effective method to lower the risk of rupture in individuals with AAAs detected in screening.

Professor Jeremy Pearson from the BHF said: "This research gives us a new understanding of the biological links between blood clotting and the development of an AAA."

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