Menno E. Groeneveld , MD 1 , 2 , Jorn P. Meekel , MD 1 , 2 , Sidney M. Rubinstein , PhD 3 , Lisanne R. Merkestein , MD 1 , Geert Jan Tangelder , PhD, MD 2 , Willem Wisselink , MD, PhD 1 , Maarten Truijers , MD, PhD 1 , Kak Khee Yeung , MD, PhD , 1 , 2
30 June 2018
The natural course of abdominal aortic aneurysms ( AAA) is growth and rupture if left untreated. Numerous markers have been investigated; however, none are broadly acknowledged. Our aim was to identify potential prognostic markers for AAA growth and rupture.
Potential circulating, biomechanical, and genetic markers were studied. A comprehensive search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library in February 2017, following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Study selection, data extraction, and methodological quality assessment were conducted by 2 independent researchers. Plausibility of markers was based on the amount of publications regarding the marker (more than 3), pooled sample size (more than 100), bias risk and statistical significance of the studies. Eighty‐two studies were included, which examined circulating (n=40), biomechanical (n=27), and genetic markers (n=7) and combinations of markers (n=8). Factors with an increased expansion risk included: AAA diameter (9 studies; n=1938; low bias risk), chlamydophila pneumonia (4 studies; n=311; medium bias risk), S‐elastin peptides (3 studies; n=205; medium bias risk), fluorodeoxyglucose uptake (3 studies; n=104; medium bias risk), and intraluminal thrombus size (5 studies; n=758; medium bias risk). Factors with an increased rupture risk rupture included: peak wall stress (9 studies; n=579; medium bias risk) and AAA diameter (8 studies; n=354; medium bias risk). No meta‐analysis was conducted because of clinical and methodological heterogeneity.
We identified 5 potential markers with a prognostic value for AAA growth and 2 for rupture. While interpreting these data, one must realize that conclusions are based on small sample sizes and clinical and methodological heterogeneity. Prospective and methodological consonant studies are strongly urged to further study these potential markers.