New biomarkers for the detection of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
18 June 2018

New biomarkers for the detection of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)


Recent research shows that high levels of arachidonic acid (an omega-6 acid) and/or CCL220 protein can predict the presence of this serious disease

Once the aneurysm is detected, the eVida®Vascular software is very useful for the endovascular repair (EVAR)


Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) arises from the dilation of the aorta at some point of its lower part, at the level of the abdomen. If it breaks, only 1 out of 5 affected patients survives. Therefore, it is crucial to detect the disease on time, before that break occurs.

And this is one of the key element for the vascular doctors and surgeons, since it is an asymptomatic disease. Sometimes it is diagnosed by chance through explorations or medical imaging studies performed for other health reasons.

Or that was the way until recently.

Because, as in other Medicine fields, significant and recently professional advances are taking place in the Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Cardiovasculares (CIBERCV) and in the Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), where it has been proved the the prediction of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm based on the levels of Arachidonic acid in the body.

Researchers analysed the levels of different acids (omega-3 and omega-6) of 500 people diagnosed with AAA for 5 years, and they have concluded that the level of arachidonic acid (an omega-6 acid) was significantly more elevated in those affected by abdominal aortic aneurysm than the usual levels for the people who did not suffer from the disease. It was also observed that the AAA patients with higher levels of arachidonic acid had suffered a greater progression of the aneurysm during the follow-up stage.


CCL220 Protein

On the other hand, few months ago, professionals from the Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Cardiovasculares (CIBERCV) and from the Instituto de Investigación Biomédica Sant Pau found a biomarker to detect the abdominal aortic aneurysm.

The increase of the level of the CCL220 protein is related to this vascular disease. The chemokine CCL20 is involved in the development of autoimmune diseases, although its possible contribution to the development of abdominal aortic aneurysm is unknown.


The two mentioned investigations open the investigation way that could help to find new therapeutic targets for the AAA pharmacological intervention.


Currently, there are no drugs capable of slowing the progression of the aneurysm or preventing the rupture. Once the aneurysm is detected, the physicians monitor the evolution and determine the size that may compromise the patient's life. If this is the case, it would be necessary to plan a surgery, and here there are two possibilities:


1) Repair by open surgery: replacement of the affected aortic section by a graft.


2) EndoVascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR): access through the groin to deploy a stent on the damaged aortic area in order to lower blood pressure and thus, prevent rupture. It is a minimally invasive technique that requires a shorter recovery time. 80% of AAAs are treated today by stents.


eVida® Vascular, the advanced visualization software for 3D images that we have developed at EMEDICA, is very useful for planning this second type of surgical intervention. Thanks to the 3D images provided by the module, you can know exactly what measures the endoprosthesis should have for the endovascular repair (EVAR). In this way, vascular surgeons can foresee the main features of the surgery and considerably reduce the risks.


Many reference professionals already use eVida® Vascular with excellent results.


You can try eVida®Vascular. You just have to request it by filling out the form on our contact page.