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General Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 12–19 | Cite as

Is there a role for biomarkers in thoracic aortic aneurysm disease?

  • Damian Balmforth
  • Amer Harky
  • Benjamin Adams
  • John Yap
  • Alex Shipolini
  • Neil Roberts
  • Rakesh Uppal
  • Mohamad BashirEmail author
SPECIAL EDITION Controversies in Surgery for Thoracic Aorta

Abstract

Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) represents a major cause of mortality and morbidity in Western countries. The natural history of TAA is indolent, with patients usually being asymptomatic until a catastrophic event such as rupture or dissection ensues. As such, early diagnosis is crucial and the search is ongoing for a biomarker that can indicate the presence of TAA with sufficient accuracy to act as a screening tool. To date, no such marker has been developed for the diagnosis of non-familial or ‘sporadic’ TAA. However, our increased understanding of the pathogenesis of both familial and sporadic TAA has suggested potential candidates for diagnostic biomarkers. Many markers/pathways have been shown to have differential activity levels or expression in the aortic tissue of TAA. However, priority is given to markers that have shown differential levels in blood plasma, as blood tests represent the easiest route for mass screening for TAA. This review aims to evaluate the efficacy of clinical tests already in use in diagnosing TAA, explore novel proposed biomarkers and identify key areas of future interest.

Keywords

Biomarkers Thoracic aorta Aneurysm Dissection 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors do not wish to make any disclosures.

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Copyright information

© The Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damian Balmforth
    • 1
    • 2
  • Amer Harky
    • 1
  • Benjamin Adams
    • 1
  • John Yap
    • 1
  • Alex Shipolini
    • 1
  • Neil Roberts
    • 1
  • Rakesh Uppal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohamad Bashir
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Cardiac Surgery, Barts Heart CentreSt Bartholomew’s HospitalLondonUK
  2. 2.William Harvey Research InstituteLondonUK

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